Crewe Alexandra chase a place in the northern area final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as they host League Cup giant-killers Bradford City at Gresty Road this evening. Manager Steve Davis has already confirmed he will be selecting a strong starting eleven against their League Two visitors.
|“We’re not playing as well as we should be” – Steve Davis|
Defender Harry Davis is hopeful of earning himself a recall to the side after a virus ruled him out of the weekend draw at Leyton Orient. Goalkeeper Alan Martin similarly awaits a chance to reclaim his place while striker AJ Leitch-Smith could make a first start since October after Max Clayton suffered a bruised toe last time out.
“Bradford getting to the Capital One Cup semi-finals is a fantastic achievement,” Crewe manager Davis told BBC Stoke. “But I hope we can show the difference between League One and League Two. We’re not playing as well as we should be. But sometimes it’s all about getting results and you just have to put quality of performances on the back burner.”
The Bantams are already potentially only ninety minutes away from Wembley in the second most prestigious domestic cup competition, having recently overcome Aston Villa 3-1 in their Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg at Valley Parade. Prior to that they had already accounted for a couple more Premiership clubs in Arsenal and Wigan Athletic.
However, manager Phil Parkinson is searching for a fresh impetus following the weekend home defeat to Oxford United. Stephen Darby, Will Atkinson and Rory McArdle are expected to be rested to allow further recovery from recent knocks, while striker James Hanson is again struggling with the toe injury which ruled him out on Saturday.
Otherwise, Garry Thompson is set to travel but unlikely to play after missing the last four games with minor knee ligament damage, and left-back James Meredith is also still out having recently been diagnosed with glandular fever.
The eventual winners face Coventry City over two legs in the northern final on 5th and 19th February – with the actual final of the competition itself at Wembley on Sunday 7th April.
|LATEST ON THE VITAL CREWE FORUMS …|