Last updated at 15:00, Saturday 17th December 2011

Let's rock with steady Crewe


Mike Holden
League Two - weekend preview
1pt Crewe to beat Crawley at 4/1 (Coral, Victor Chandler)Six of Crewe's eight wins this season have come as underdogs and they deserve to be chanced.

Crawley returned to the top of League Two last weekend and the common assumption is that the Red Devils are there to stay, but we fancy they could run into a few problems against Crewe on Saturday.

The cheap argument to support this bet would be to say that topping the table comes with its own pressures and Steve Evans' men have been in this position on three separate occasions already this season only to relinquish it, but the simple truth is that we don't doubt for a moment they have what it takes to win the division over the course of 46 matches.

Crawley's quality is without question but when you're busy drawing direct comparisons with the also-rans at this level, it's easy to overlook potential shortcomings that come with inexperience. Just as most visiting teams cannot cope with what's thrown at them in the alien confines of the Broadfield Stadium, it's also true that the Sussex outfit have sometimes struggled to impose themselves when they have pitched up in unfamiliar surroundings.

Everybody remembers the 6-0 hammering they took at Morecambe in September and Evans responded to that embarrassment by strengthening his squad with some key loan signings. However, we're not convinced they have completely eradicated the possibility of further sudden setbacks.

Crawley's away record has been excellent over the past couple of months with five wins from six matches but the recent 1-1 draw at Hereford is a result that provides us with enough optimism to chance the Railwaymen at 4/1 with Coral and Victor Chandler.

Indeed, that was the second time this season that Crawley have been chalked-up at odds-on for an away game and the second time they have failed to win. So there's no saying when and where the hiccups will occur and while it's too early to make any concrete assumptions about Crewe under the guidance of Steve Davis, the early indications have been positive and we've no reason to believe we're backing a lame horse.

It's fair to say the Railwaymen were on course for another season of underachivement until the board stepped in and ushered Dario Gradi upstairs following a dismal 3-0 home defeat against Torquay. At that point, the mood around Gresty Road was beginning to turn sour but Davis has brought new ideas to the table, capitalising on a fresh wave of optimism by taking seven points from his first three matches.

Yoga is just one of the new innovations to be introduced and though the merits of such alterations depends entirely on the attitude of the players, we should trust in Crewe's ability to upset the odds if they do turn up feeling somehow inspired.

Our confidence in the price is only enhanced by the knowledge that the two teams have drawn only five games between them and six of Crewe's eight wins to date have arrived when they have been underdogs.

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