Date: 7th March 2020 at 10:00am
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This afternoon sees a return to home action as we welcome bottom of the league Stevenage to the Alexandra Stadium looking for a league-double following a 5-1 win just before Xmas in Hertfordshire.

So far this season, they have beaten Grimsby Town, fellow strugglers Morecambe and Cambridge United, they’ve drawn with Leyton Orient, Mansfield Town, Macclesfield, Forest Green Rovers twice, Cambridge United, Port Vale, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Crawley Town and Newport County, Colchester United and Oldham Athletic while they have lost to Salford City twice, Exeter City, Bradford City twice, Cheltenham Town, Carlisle United, Northampton Town twice, Swindon Town, us, Plymouth Argyle twice, Vale, Grimsby, Leyton Orient, Exeter City and Crawley.

In the cups, they lost to Southend United in the 1st Round of the EFL Cup and lost to Peterborough United after a replay at the same stage of the FA Cup. They have been relatively successful in the EFL Trophy, finishing in second in their group that also featured MK Dons, Fulham’s Under-21 side and Wycombe Wanderers, knocking out both Colchester and Bristol Rovers before going out to Exeter in the quarter-finals.

Since the last meeting, Stevenage have signed 9 players in total with defenders Canice Carroll and Patrick Reading, midfielders Daiguely Dano and Joe Leesley (loan) as well as forwards Jake Cassidy, Simeon Jackson, David Parkhouse, Ben Folami and Dan Kemp (the latter 3 on loan) all joining the club. They have also 5 players leave the club permanently as well as 4 leave on loan deals.

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met 13 times with both teams having 5 wins and 3 draws. Crewe’s biggest win came in the game earlier in the season while Stevenage’s biggest win came at Gresty Road in October 2013 where they won 3-0.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Andy Haines as the man in the middle where he is assisted by Steven Rushton and Oliver Bickle with Christopher Husban being the fourth official. During the last 5 seasons the following Crewe games have been refereed by Haines:

  • Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Shrewsbury Town (28th December 2015) – Colclough
  • Leyton Orient 0-2 Crewe Alexandra (29th October 2016) – Davis, Cooper
  • Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Crewe Alexandra (21st January 2017) – Jones
  • Wycombe Wanderers 3-2 Crewe Alexandra (26th September 2017) – Dagnall (2)
  • MK Dons 0-1 Crewe Alexandra (19th January 2019) – Kirk
  • Crewe Alexandra 0-0 Colchester United (22nd October 2019)

I asked Stevenage supporter Aidan Cheevers for his thoughts going into the game.

How would you describe your season so far?

If I had to put it politely, this season has been horrific from start to finish. 8 points adrift and facing a major uphill struggle to stay up is not what we envisioned at the start of the season.

Which position is the one that you should have strengthened during the last transfer window that you didn’t?

I think we should’ve added more cover in the full-back positions, especially with Luther Wildin being in and out of the team this season.

What do you think the team will be for the game?

I can see us lining up similar to what we did at Crawley, with a 4-3-3 formation in a bid to counter Crewe’s midfield prowess.

Referring back to the 4-3-3 formation, an extra midfielder in the form of Dabo (if fully fit) should help suffocate the likes of Lowery and Wintle.

Who is the danger man for this game?

The danger man (if you could think of one) for us is Charlie Carter. Carter has come on strong in 2020, and can play anywhere in midfield.

Do you feel there is much chance of yourselves avoiding the drop or do you feel that it is almost a foregone conclusion?

I think relegation is now a mere formality, but stranger things have happened in football, haven’t they?