Rovers v Crewe Alexandra – Match Preview

Rovers turn their attention to the FA Cup Second Round as Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn side prepare to face League Two side, Crewe Alexandra.

Following on from a busy two weeks or so – with Rovers playing 4 games in 10 days – Mowbray’s men now will face lower league opposition in the form of David Artell’s Crewe side.

Whilst Rovers beat League Two side Barnet 3-1 in the first round. Crewe came out as victors – when originally labelled as underdogs – over Rovers’ League One counterparts Rotherham United.

Team news

Mowbray said in his pre-match press conference that he will make some changes to the side who won away to Blackpool.

Craig Conway is likely to return to the squad after his absence following a recurring injury. Unlike Conway, the cup tie will come too early for Ben Gladwin, who is still a “week or two” away from making a return to training.

Harry Chapman and Darragh Lenihan are still long-term absentees, although the latter had positive news in his latest assessment.

Midfielders James Jones and Ryan Wintle and Defender George Ray are all absent for Crewe through injury.

The season so far

Blackburn Rovers

Rovers head into the FA Cup Second Round tie on the back of 4 victories in the space of 10 days. The Blue and Whites sit 4th in the Sky Bet League One table, only 3 points off Shrewsbury Town in the automatic play-off spots.

Mowbray’s men booked their place in the second round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Crewe’s fellow League Two side, Barnet. Simeon Akinola opened the scoring for Barnet in the first half to give the Barnet faithful a hope of beating a higher league side. However, second-half goals from Nuttall, Graham and Antonsson killed off the dream and sent Rovers through to the next round.

Crewe Alexandra

Crewe sit 17th in League Two and are just three points off the relegation zone after losing 4 games out of their last 5.

David Artell’s Crewe side booked their place in the second round with a great 2-1 victory over Rovers’ fellow League One side, Rotherham United at Gresty Road. Will Vaulks opened the scoring for the away side after 21 minutes. Crewe equalised two minutes into the second half through Brad Walker. The comeback was complete in the 89th minute when Callum Ainley buried the ball in the Rotherham goal.

Previous meetings

Last meeting: Rovers 4-3 Crewe Alexandra (AET) – Capital One Cup Second Round – 23rd August 2016

Rovers Line-up: Raya (GK), Lowe (Marshall, 70′), Duffy, Wharton, Hendrie, Feeney, Byrne (Guthrie, 56′), Akpan, Conway, Gallagher, Stokes (Graham, 56′). Subs not used: Steele (GK), Greer, Mahoney, Doyle. 

Scorers: Akpan (42′), Wharton (69′), Conway (88′), Duffy (97′)

Crewe Line-up: Garratt (GK), Turton, Guthrie, Davis, Bakayogo, Cooper (Ray, 79′), Bingham, Hollands (Jones, 77′), Kiwomya, Dagnall, Saunders (Lowe, 65′). Subs not used: Richards (GK), Nugent, Kirk, Ainley.

Scorers: Bingham (8′), Dagnall (39′, 90+3′)

Summary

Obviously, Rovers will go into the game as favourites and will be expected to book their place in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However, like last time we faced them, Crewe have the potential to force us all the way.

Mowbray seems to respect the cup competitions, shown by the strong team he put out in the victory over Barnet. As long as there aren’t many changes, it should be a victory for Rovers

Prediction: Rovers 4-1 Crewe Alexandra

Rovers scorers: Samuel (x2), Mulgrew, Harper

Crewe scorer: Porter

Come on you Blues!

Thanks for reading.

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