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Match Previews

Crewe (H)

2 February 2018

Notts County host Crewe Alexandra in Sky Bet League Two looking to get back to winning ways.

The Magpies are without a victory in their last three league games and have been caught up by the chasing pack.

Crewe have lost their past three outings to slip to 21st in the table, three points above the relegation zone.

Their manager, David Artell, has been dealing with a host of injuries in his squad, who have not drawn a league fixture since 12 August, and saw star player George Cooper depart for Peterborough last month.

The Alex need a win to ease their relegation worries and would love nothing more than to spoil the party with a crowd of more than 17,500 expected at Meadow Lane.

Tickets for this game have been priced £2 by Notts chairman and owner Alan Hardy as he celebrates his anniversary in charge.

A limited number of single and restricted-view tickets are available until 7pm. Click here for more information.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says...

“We have a great rapport with the fans and there is a real chemistry,  togetherness and will to win.

“We have built a great camaraderie over a year and hopefully those extra 10,000 people who come to the game will join in.

“We are going to need them at some point in the game because it’s not going to be easy.”

Crewe manager David Artell says...

“The challenge is there for us and we have to rise to it. We did it earlier in the season when we beat them at home and we won at Portsmouth last season in front of a big crowd.

“We know what we have to do. We have to get the ball down and play and when we are under pressure, we have to be men, stand up to that and see it through.

“Notts County are a good side and we know we will have to play well to get a result. We did that for an hour at Swindon last week, so now we have to make sure we do it for 90 minutes.”

Team news

Midfielder Matty Virtue is available once more after serving a one-game ban but goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons remains sidelined for another two matches.

New signings Ben Hall and Mason Bennett could be involved after joining the club on transfer deadline day earlier in the week. 

Crewe, meanwhile, could hand a debut to Newcastle loanee Jamie Sterry, who joined the Railwaymen on deadline day.

However, full-back Zoumana Bakayogo is suspended after being sent off in last weekend's 4-3 defeat at Swindon, which also saw goalkeeper Dave Richards and defender Michael Raynes limp off with injuries.

The pair continue to be monitored in the build-up to the game at Meadow Lane.


Shaun Miller rejoined Crewe on loan from Carlisle last month after nearly six years away from Gresty Road.

He began his career with the Railwaymen and scored 43 goals in 179 appearances before being snapped up by Sheffield United in the summer of 2012.

His two years at Bramall Lane were stop-start and saw him move out on loan to Shrewsbury before joining Coventry City.

He would have a similar time at the Ricoh Arena, leaving to spend time on loan at Crawley Town and York City prior to his release by the Sky Blues.

The striker then joined Morecambe on a one-year deal, where he reignited his career by scoring 16 goals in 43 appearances which led to interest from elsewhere and he made the move to Carlisle in June 2016.

After falling down the pecking order at Brunton Park, and with Crewe's top goalscorer Chris Porter ruled out for up to six weeks, Alex manager David Artell moved to bring the forward back to Cheshire.

We've met before...

Notts have a superior head-to-head record against the Railwaymen with 21 wins from 44 previous meetings.

The Magpies are unbeaten in the last six games between the sides at Meadow Lane with Crewe's last win in Nottingham coming in March 1997 when Mark Rivers' goal secured victory.

Last season's meeting ended in a draw as Alex Kiwomya cancelled out Jonathan Forte's strike for a share of the spoils.

Notts' last home success against the Alex came in January 2015, when Billy Daniels' stunning volley won the game late on.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 8/13 favourites to take all three points, while the Railwaymen are 9/2 to come away from Meadow Lane with the win. The draw is 14/5.

A 2-0 win for the Magpies against the Cheshire outfit can be backed at 13/2, with a 4-1 scoreline available at 25/1 and a 1-0 win at 11/2.

Jon Stead has started 2018 in fine form with six goals in as many games and the striker is 9/2 to score the first goal this weekend or 6/4 to find the net at any time.

Defender Nicky Hunt says Notts cannot allow the pressure of a big crowd to get to them and he is one of the unlikelier shouts to be first on the scoresheet at odds of 40/1.

Notts are 9/4 to win the game with both teams scoring or 7/4 to win the game to-nil.

You can bet on the game here.

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