The Countdown to Crewe
The referee for the game is Tom Nield who has issued 87 yellow cards and two reds in 26 games this season, he was last in charge of an Argyle game in September 2018 when the Pilgrims lost 3-0 at Portsmouth. He will be assisted on Saturday by Paul Kelly and Home Park regular Justin Amey while the fourth official is Ross Martin.
Crewe fan Matt Owen has kindly agreed to give Pasoti users an insight into his club with a Q&A ...
Q: What are your thoughts on Crewe's January transfer window business?
A: The best bit of business was having no outgoings, was a real concern that with the start we made that the vultures would circle. That didn’t materialise and we managed to keep the squad together for the run in. In terms of incomings just two, Michael Nottingham has come in on loan from Blackpool and added height and presence to our backline which was done to the bare bones. Stephen Walker has also joined us from Middlesbrough on loan, has good pedigree and has been an England Youth International but still finding his way in the professional game.
Q: What are your views on manager David Artell?
A: Initial thoughts when got the job were mixed, but his knowledge of the youth players, the way he works with them and the character he has built with this squad has to be applauded. Has great knowledge of the game and is a winner. At the moment he can’t do no wrong. Showed signs of inexperience when he first was put in charge but has learnt from mistakes and now is a real good league 2 manager.
Q: Given your good form over the season have expectations increased for a top three finish?
A: Expectations have certainly increased but I don’t think too much pressure to deliver top 3, the team have been quietly going about their business and playing some wonderful football in the process, we are more than capable of a top 3 finish that is for sure.
Q: Has Crewe's style of play and formation changed or evolved over the course of the season?
A: Nope we pretty much still try to play good attacking football utilising the full backs, of late we have had to grind results and not as free flowing as we were earlier in the season but this team always looks to get it down and play.
Q: Given the recent financial problems and ownership issues of lower league clubs are Crewe in a stable state at the moment?
A: The club are in the process of finalising a deal to buy out major shareholder Norman Hassall, of which the fans have staked £250k and will have a rep on the new look board, finances are always tight but always cut the cloth accordingly and don’t see that changing any time soon.
Q: Looking from afar what are your views on Plymouth Argyle?
A: Plymouth are a massive club for this league with a big catchment area, been a few times and always found it a friendly place to visit.
Q: And finally - a prediction for Saturday's game?
A: Sure to be goals, I’d say a 2-2 draw.
The match betting from Sky Bet - an Argyle win has odds of 5/4, a Crewe win is placed at 15/8 and the draw is on offer at 23/10.
Crewe have lost just once in the last 10 league games which was a 3-1 defeat at Swindon Town.
Crewe's away record is won seven games, lost four and drawn four.
The early weather forecast for the game is heavy rain and 50+mph wind.
Match highlights of the 3-0 win at Crewe in August ..... You Tube
Argyle have played Crewe nine times at Home Park, winning five games, drawing two and losing two.
Antoni Sarcevic, George Cooper, Conor Grant, Joel Grant and Byron Moore have all played for Crewe during their respective careers as well as manager Ryan Lowe and his assistant Steven Schumacher.
Ryan Lowe's pre-match press conference ...
Crewe injury update .... Crewe club website
Crewe Alexandra will assess the fitness levels of forwards Chuma Anene and Daniel Powell before deciding if they fit enough to travel with the squad to Plymouth Argyle this weekend.
The Crewe squad will travel to Plymouth on Friday afternoon despite the threat of a postponement.... Cheshire Live
Crewe manager David Artell looks ahead to the game ....
“It should be a good game and we will have to see how it pans out. We have to make sure we are on the right side of the result.
“I am not surprised that Plymouth are up there with us, especially with the resources and players they have at their disposal. They have a terrific fan base and get good crowds.
“They are a big club for the league and have a good team.
“Ryan Lowe has done a good job. He has a good budget but that doesn’t necessary guarantee success. It is not easy with money because with that comes more expectation.
“We are two good teams and these are the games you want to be involved with.”
The game is still on: A club spokesman talks about the weather ...
"We are, of course, aware of the weather forecast for the weekend, and will continue to closely monitor conditions.
"There is no reason, at present, to suppose that that our top-of-the-table game against Crewe Alexandra is in jeopardy.
"If that changes, we will immediately inform supporters through the club’s communications channels, including the official website, http://www.pafc.co.uk.”
A message from Target Travel ...
PAFC Football Specials will be running for the last time tomorrow 15th February 2020.
PA4 will not be operating through Southway, Whitleigh, West Park due to lack of staff, we apologise for this but there will be dupes on the PA3 from The George Park & Ride.
Unfortunately no other operator has come forward to take these routes on but we have tried.
We would like to Thank you all for your loyal support. COYG.
The Crewe Campaign
Ryan Lowe talks about Crewe .... club website
“Everyone knows what I think of Crewe and I know what they think of me, so it will be interesting and I’m looking forward to a good game of football, played on the floor. It is two good teams locking horns for three points."
The club confirm the game is definitely ON ...
Fans can swap seats from the lower grandstand to a more sheltered area.
There's now a 1pm pitch inspection.
The game is confirmed as ON.