The First Round Proper of the FA Cup has arrived and one of the intriguing clashes to look out for comes as League Two’s entertainers Crewe Alexandra host Paul Warne’s Derby County. We’ve previewed the match and taken a look at a couple of selections for you to consider for this Sunday afternoon fixture.
Callum Elder is close to a return for Paul Warne’s side, but he remains without several players for the long-term. Joe Ward, Tyreece John-Jules, Jake Rooney, Elliot Embleton and Liam Thompson all remain out. Crewe have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Crewe Alex, currently 5th in League Two, are 16/5 to win this match, while Derby County are 6/5. A draw can be backed at 5/2, while over 2.5 goals is 10/11 and BTTS is 4/5.
Over 2.5 goals @ 10/11
Crewe Alexandra have been one of the surprise packages in League Two this term, firing themselves into promotion contention with their vibrant attack. No side in League Two, not even the likes of Notts County, Wrexham or Mansfield Town, can match the 35 league goals Alex have scored so far.
Remarkably, the home side have shared the goals around this season, with Chris Long their top scorer with seven. Courtney Baker-Richardson and Elliott Nevitt have also contributed, but goals do come from everywhere for former player turned manager Lee Bell.
Derby meanwhile, scored four against Northampton Town last time out and lost 3-1 to Stevenage before that. Paul Warne’s side are hit and miss at the moment, but with the quality on show we should see a lot of goals.
Crewe to win and BTTS @ 13/2
With Derby boasting the likes of Conor Washington and James Collins, goals shouldn’t be a problem for either side here. With BTTS, we can enhance our odds, especially given that underdogs Crewe have a genuine fighting chance here.
The Rams have been so difficult to judge this term. They were one of the pre-season favourites in League One yet find themselves in 7th, 11 points off early leaders Portsmouth. They were better away from home earlier in the season, but that has now turned on its head, and they have lost their last two away matches, to Shrewsbury and Stevenage respectively.
At Gresty Road, Crewe have been seriously impressive this term, winning five of their eight league matches. They’ve only been beaten in the league by high-flying Stockport County on home soil and with their goalscoring prowess, have been able to blow away several opposing teams.
With Derby likely to make changes in their bid to get back into the Championship, the Alex can take full advantage. This should be a cracking cup tie.
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