Crewe will be looking for their first win in four whilst Swindon are hoping to move themselves towards promotion contention.
After the 2-1 loss to Notts County, Crewe are now winless in four. Despite the Railwaymen scoring their first away goal of the season on Saturday at meadow lane, it wasn’t enough to stop them from handing County their first win of the season.
Crewe put in a improved performance against County, and for 30 minutes of the first half looked the much stronger team. However, yet again the Alex couldn’t take advantage of their dominance and went into half time drawing 1-1. County then overran the Railwaymen in the second half, and because of this deservedly won their first game of the campaign.
Defensive mistakes again cost Crewe, as arguably both goals should have been avoided. Both full backs continuously lost the opposition players, and because of this County found themselves taking the lead on two separate occasions.
When the Alex got the ball on the deck and played their game against County they looked the better side. Tommy Lowery who kept his place in the side after the midweek Checkatrade trophy loss to Manchester City Under 21’s looked excellent in midfield during this period.
Switching to a 4-3-3 in this game clearly benefited the team, as it enabled them to keep possession and build from the back. However, yet again a poor second half performance let the Railwaymen down, if they want to start getting results then Crewe must be able to keep up the same intensity throughout the entirety of a game.
Fan frustration was clear at full time, with five minutes to go Crewe were still methodically playing the ball backwards and sideways, they certainly didn’t look like the side who were chasing the game. Dave Artell needs to get his side playing proper football for a full 90 minutes before results will start to improve, and if this doesn’t happen then something needs to change.
Even the Alex’s home form which was something to boast about has gone out the window. In the first three home league games Crewe failed to concede a single goal, however since then the Railwaymen conceded in the 1-0 defeat to Vale and in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City Under 21’s. The Alex need to return Gresty Road to the fortress that it was at the start of the season if they want to have any success out of this years campaign,
Whilst Crewe have lost three and drawn one in their last four games Swindon have won two, drawn one and lost one. So it’s clear which side comes into this in the better form.
Swindon have also won both their last games away from home, against both Morecambe and Yeovil winning both 1-0 and 3-0 respectively. Swindon come into this game in 9th place, however they are only missing out on the play-offs through goal difference.
Last time out Swindon drew 0-0 with fellow promotion chasers Oldham at home, so will largely be expected to beat the Alex on Tuesday.
The Railwaymen’s last win over Swindon came 10 meetings ago, when Crewe ran out 2-1 winners over Swindon at Gresty Road on the 23rd October 2012. Since then Crewe have lost wight games to Swindon, including the last four meetings between the pair.
Last season Swindon beat the Alex 3-0 at Gresty Road. As well as this Swindon came from 3-1 behind at their home ground to beat the Alex 4-3.
With Crewe looking for their first victory over Swindon since 2012 and hoping to return to their good home form from the start of the season this match should hopefully be a good one.
Predicted Lineup: 4-3-3
Goalkeeper– Ben Garratt
Garratt in the second half arguably stopped the result from getting embarrassing, as without some class saves it could have easily become 4-1 to County so obviously should retain his place for Tuesdays game.
Defence- Perry Ng, Michael Raynes, George Ray, Kevin O’Connor
One change to the defence that conceded two to County on Saturday. Personally I would see Corey Whelan dropped for Tuesdays game, the full-back looked off the pace and has looked uneasy ever since his misplaced back pass against Vale. This would see Ng move over to right-back, with Raynes taking his place at central defence. With Pickering and Nolan believed to still be out for another three to four weeks Kevin O’Connor keeps his place at left-back.
Midfield- Tommy Lowery, Ryan Wintle, Callum Ainley
The only change that I would make to Crewe’s midfield is the dropping of James Jones for Callum Ainley. When Ainley came on for Jones in the last 20 minutes against County he did more than Jones did for his entire game before it, as he looked to constantly play Forward and add some pace in to Crewe’s attack. Ryan Wintle again proved to be a reliable Anchor, whilst Tommy Lowery was the highlight of Crewe’s otherwise drab performance as he looked to pull the strings and find the space.
Forwards- Charlie Kirk, Jordan Bowery, Shaun Miller
Whilst Kirk didn’t put in a good performance against County, he’s still being one Crewe’s most promising players the season so deserves to keep his place. Bowery grabbed a goal against County whilst Nicholls who started on Saturday was relatively quiet all game, so personally I would see him dropped for Miller on Tuesday.
Crewe 2-2 Swindon
Aside from the second half of the Vale game Crewe have still looked a very good side at home this season. However, I do not expect them to get a win over a Swindon side who find themselves pushing for the play-offs.
The Alex need to find a way to start scoring goals again, so for this game attack needs to be the focus, so I expect goals from both sides.
Picture Credit: Crewe Alexandra