Crewe will look to continue their good home form against a recently relegated Bury with a few familiar faces who are looking to progress into the play–off spots.
Off the back of last weeks 1-0 loss away to league leaders Lincoln, Crewe return to Gresty Road hoping for just their 4th win of the season. Mean whilst Bury currently sit 11th in the table but are only two points of the playoffs, so will be looking for a result here to propel themselves into promotion contention.
The 1-0 loss away to league leaders Lincoln on paper doesn’t look to be a bad result for the Alex. The team put in a solid defensive display and it took Lincoln an hour to break the deadlock through substitute Tom Pett. Garratt also saved Frecklington’s penalty five minutes from time in order to keep the scoreline respectable. However, yet again Crewe failed to score away from home, and have now only scored one goal in their six games away from Gresty Road. The Railwaymen just seem to lack any sort of attacking intensity and creativity away from home, they need to find a solution quickly.
However, at Gresty Road its a different story. Crewe manage to maintain their solid defence but also find a way to score goals. The Alex have only conceded one goal at home this season in the five games they have played and have managed to score 10, this has lead to the Railwaymen winning three, drawing one and losing one at Gresty Road. Crewe’s home form and the return of Harry Pickering could give them the edge against a Bury side full of familiar faces.
Bury are undefeated in their last three league games, picking up two draws and one victory. Last time out Bury rescued a 2-2 draw at home against Mansfield thanks to a brace from Crewe academy graduate Nicky Maynard, who scored the best of the afternoon with an Overhead kick eight yards from goal.
Maynard isn’t the only Crewe academy graduate amongst the Bury ranks. Byron Moore spent seven years at Crewe after graduating from the academy and at the start of the season signed for Bury, but he missed last weekends game due to injury.
Maynard’s strike partner last weekend Chris Dagnall, also spent two years at Crewe and scored 21 goal in the process. However, arguably the most recognisable name to Crewe fans is of manager of Ryan Lowe.
Lowe had two separate spells at Gresty Road, with the second spell coming two seasons ago before Lowe returned to Bury initially as a player but has since progressed to management.
The last time the two sides faced in a competitive game of football was the 2015/16 season when both sides were still in league one. Both games that season ended in a draw, the game at Gresty Road finished 3-3 whilst the game at Gigg lane finished goalless.
Predicted XI: 4-3-3
Goalkeeper- Ben Garratt
Garratt has being one of Crewe’s standout performers over the last five games, and with his Penalty save against Lincoln there is no reason for him to be dropped
Defence- Nicky Hunt, Perry Ng, George Ray, Harry Pickering
With Corey Whelan away on international duty changes will take place to the Crewe back four that lost 1-0 away at Lincoln. It looks likely that Nicky Hunt will replace Whelan at right-back whilst the newly fit Harry Pickering will replace Kevin O’Connor at left-back after eight games on the sideline. Perry Ng and George Ray have proved to be a reliable centre back partnership in recent weeks so as long as both players remain fit it seems likely that the centre of Crewe’s defence will remain the same.
Midfield- James Jones, Ryan Wintle, Callum Ainley
It looks unlikely that any change will be made to the midfield three that started against Lincoln last Saturday. Despite James Jones not having the most consistent of seasons so far Artell has showed no signs yet of dropping him. Wintle has been a consistent anchor for Crewe’s defence so far this season whilst Callum Ainley looks to provide a bit of creativity and pace into Crewe’s attacks.
Forwards- Shaun Miller, Jordan Bowery, Charlie Kirk
Despite Artells best efforts its clear that Bowery and Porter playing in the same XI just doesn’t work. Crewe just seem to be lacking a prolific goalscorer, and who better than Shaun Miller. Both Jordan Bowery and Charlie Kirk have chipped in with the goals this season, but it still isn’t enough. Placing someone like Miller up top with them would only lead to more goals for the Railwaymen.
Crewe 1-1 Bury
Despite Bury not losing in their last three league games, I just cant see them coming to Gresty Road and getting all three points.
A draw looks to be the most likely result on Saturday, but if either team can produce a moment of magic then it could go either way.
Picture Credit: Crewe Alexandra