In this Cheshire derby Crewe will be looking for their first win in four whilst newly promoted Macclesfield look for their first win of the 2018/19 campaign.
Despite losing two key players in Paul Green and Harry Pickering to injury in the last week the Crewe squad has been boosted by the loan signing of Kevin O’Connor from Preston North End until January the 7th.
The 23 year old left footed left-back is just what the Crewe squad needed after Pickering was confirmed to be out until Christmas. It is expected that the 23-year-old attacking full-back will slot straight into the first team for Saturdays clash against Macclesfield which can only improve Crewe’s chance of getting a result.
This is O’Connors 2nd loan spell after joining League One side Fleetwood on loan for the second half of last season, unfortunately injuries restricted his playing time as he only turned out five times for the Cod Army.
O’Connor still made nine Championship appearances for Preston last season so Crewe know they are getting a talented full-back who should not only provide more sturdiness to our defence but also more ability in our attacks.
Despite Crewe now not winning in four league games, the side put in a much improved performance last Saturday away at Carlisle after the 6-0 thrashing by Colchester. Despite still losing 1-0, Crewe created some good chances and looked like they deserved to take something away from Brunton Park. Despite a strong defensive performance the Alex were undone by a simple ball over the top, this allowed Nadesan through on goal and he slotted the ball past the returning Ben Garratt to make the final score 1-0.
Crewe should feel positive about their chances this Saturday though as they are undefeated at Gresty Road so far in the league this season.
The Railwaymen have won one and drawn one game at home this season, during these two games they didn’t concede a single goal.
Crewe look a completely different side at Gresty Road this season compared to when they play away, and if they perform the way they did in the 6-0 drumming of Morecambe and the 0-0 draw with MK Dons, then the Alex should definitely be able to get a result this Saturday.
The Alex currently sit 18th in the table, whilst their Cheshire rivals Macclesfield sit in 23rd and are still yet to win a league game. Whilst Crewe have lost their last two league games and haven’t scored in their last four, Macclesfield’s last two league games have both ended 1-1.
The Silkmen’s last League home game was in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, where at full-time the game finished 3-3 away at Walsall who currently sit 4th in League One.
Macclesfield put in a memorable performance which saw the game go to penalties, penalties which Macclesfield won 3-1.
The only positive that Crewe can really take from Macclesfield’s impressive performance away at Walsall is that they have had more time to prepare for their opponents, and that Macclesfield had to give it their all for 90 minutes. As a result, the Macc will come into this game tireder than the Alex.
However, it is clear that Macclesfield can score goals, so if Crewe want to get a result their defence will have to perform.
The two sides haven’t played each other in a competitive fixture for over six years now, and the last time the sides met it was April 2012. The league two fixture ended 2-2 with Nick Powell grabbing both goals for the Railwaymen.
The 2011/12 campaign was memorable for both sides, as it saw Crewe promoted to League One via the play-offs whilst Macclesfield finished bottom of the table and were dropped out of the football league.
This is Macclesfields first season back in the football league since that season and i’m sure they wont want to be returning to it anytime soon.
Predicted Crewe XI: 4-4-2
Goalkeeper- Ben Garratt
Garratt had a solid first game of the season against Carlisle, and until he makes a mistake it would seem unfair to drop Crewe’s Number one for Saturdays game against Macclesfield.
Defence- Perry Ng, George Ray, Eddie Nolan, Kevin O’Connor
With George Ray playing the full 90 minutes in a under-23 game against Ipswich, it is likely that the club captain will make a return to first team action this week. This means that Raynes will more than likely lose his place in the starting XI.
Youngster Perry Ng should keep his place at right-back whilst Eddie Nolan practically chooses himself at left centre-back. Crewe’s player of the season last season is always a consistent performer and is key in marshalling the Alex back line.
Nicky Hunt played against Carlisle, it would make sense for new loan signing Kevin O’Connor to make his Crewe debut. O’Connor should offer Crewe more attacking threat than Hunt due to him being left-footed down the left hand side.
Midfield- Callum Ainley, James Jones, Ryan Wintle, Charlie Kirk
Only one change to the Alex midfield for me which sees Jonah come in for the injured Paul Green.
Callum Ainley and Charlie Kirk offer the threats from out-wide whilst Ryan Wintle plays an important part in covering the gaps left by a marauding full-back as well as helping the Railwaymen keep possession and launch attacks.
Jonah has been forced to play out on the right so far this season, but with the long term injury to Paul Green the talented young midfielder now has the chance to reestablish himself in the centre of Crewe’s midfield.
Forwards- Jordan Bowery, Shaun Miller
Despite neither player finding the net so far this season they have only started a game together once, and the partnership formed between these two players was key to Crewe’s mid-table finish last season.
Despite Crewe not scoring now in four league games, I believe that this Saturday will be the day that the Alex break their drought.
Crewe are undefeated so far at home this season whilst Macclesfield are yet to win a game, whilst i do think that this game will be close i believe that the extra preparation time that Crewe have had and the home advantage should lead to a victory for the Railwaymen.
Final Score- Crewe 3-1 Macclesfield
Picture Credit: Crewe Alexandra