PREVIEW: Crewe Alexandra v Bristol City

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Updated: December 19, 2014

Bristol City

Nickname: The Robins

Founded: 1897 (117 years ago)

Ground: Ashton Gate (21,500 capacity – upgrading to 27,000)

Manager: Steve Cotterill (Former striker for Bournemouth, Wimbledon & Hereford United)

Last season: League One, 12th

Honours: Football League Trophy winners – 1986 & 2003

 

Preview

This Saturday’s match for Crewe Alex will be one of the toughest games so far this season, as Bristol City are topping the league one table with 42 points after an all round total of 20 games.

There are a lot of facts to consider from the Robins which makes this game a big challenge for a team who are rock bottom in the table (24th).

Bristol have only lost a couple of times in the league so far (Preston North End & Swindon Town), showing fantastic performances by recording 12 victories and 6 draws.

Crewe however, have only picked up maximum points 4 times this season with 12 defeats to their name.

The spirit of Steve Davis’ team in their remarkable derby win against Port Vale back in September, would be a huge help if any possibility of spoiling the party occurs.

 

Team News

The home crowd may have to wait a little bit longer to see Lauri Dalla Valle make a return at the Alexandra Stadium, after reports of the Finland international not being available for selection due to ankle injury.

The Railwaymen’s defence will be missing one of their crucial defenders, Adam Dugdale, is expected to be dismissed with a knee injury.

The injury list for Crewe keeps getting longer with club captain Matt Tootle, Brad Inman and Jon Guthrie (illness) are both doubts for Saturday’s league fixture.

 

Opposition Players to Watch

18. Aaron Wilbraham (Forward)

 Age: 35

Date signed: July 2014

Aaron Wilbraham is the Robins’ top goal scorer so far this season, already scoring 10 in 19 league appearances with 3 goals coming from cup competitions.

The number 18 forward has had a very experienced career in the beautiful game playing for notable clubs such as Crystal Palace, Norwich and Bradford.

The list goes on.

19.Kieran Agard (Forward)

Age: 25

Date signed: August 2014

As well as Wilbraham being the huge threat up front for Bristol, Kieran Agard is another striker that could cause problems in Crewe’s defence.

Bristol’s summer signing is running in second place in the club’s goal scorer list for this season with seven in sixteen league matches and two in two FA Cup ties.

Steve Davis and his side can take on board the fact that the English forward has only found the back of the net once in his last seven games (Telford, 07th December).

 

Head-to-Head

Crewe Alexandra wins: 8

Bristol City wins: 10

Draws: 6

This Saturday’s meeting will be the 25th encounter since both club’s first fixture all the way back in January 1911, with Crewe winning a comfortable 3-0 win.

 

Last Encounter at Gresty Road

League One

Saturday 19th October, 2013

Crewe Alexandra 1 – 0 Bristol City

Goalscorer: Byron Moore (pen) 90’

Crewe Alexandra: Phillips (GK); Tootle, Mellor, Ellis, Dugdale, Turton, Molyneux (72’ Clayton); Osman, Grant; Moore, Aneke (89’ Ray).

Substitutes: Garratt (GK); Ray, Guthrie, Nolan; Clayton, Leitch-Smith, Oliver.

Yellow cards: Byron Moore & Oliver Turton

 

Bristol City: Parish (GK); Moloney, Williams, Flint, Bryan, Shorey; Emmanuel-Thomas (60’ Taylor), Wagstaff, Reid, Pack; Baldock (84’ McLaughlin).

Substitutes: Fielding (GK); Cunningham, Dunk; Wynter, McLaughlin; Taylor, Harewood.

Yellow cards: Brendan Moloney & Aden Flint

 

What the Managers Have Said

Steve Davis, Crewe Alexandra manager:

“He [Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill] has brought in players who can do a job and get them out of this league.

“He’s found a system that suits and they’ve done a very good job.

“The signs were there last season and they’ve found some more money to pump into the team – it’s paid off for them.”

 

Steve Cotterill, Bristol City manager:

“Crewe might be struggling with results but they aren’t struggling with performances.

“I’ve watched them and they’ve been OK. There’s times where they’ve been unlucky and times when the other team has been better.

“We know it will be a tough test. Our boys are level headed and they won’t be taking them lightly, that’s for sure.”

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