Crewe Alexandra will look to extend their unbeaten start to five games in 2023 when they host Grimsby Town on Saturday (3pm).
In addition to the 1-0 win over Tranmere, Lee Bell’s side have had some impressive draws in recent weeks, particularly two 1-1 draws against promotion chasers Mansfield Town and Stockport County.
Grimsby have had a mixed start to 2023. They won their New Year’s Day clash against Stockport 1-0, but endured a heavy 5-0 defeat in the league last time out at the hands of Swindon Town.
They are on an impressive FA Cup run, taking Luton Town to a fourth-round replay next Tuesday evening, with a potential away tie against Premier League side Southampton in the fifth round.
Paul Hurst was appointed manager of the club in December 2020 for a second stint, repeating what he did in his first spell in guiding the Mariners back into the Football League at the first time of asking.
A one-club man as a player for Rotherham United, Hurst has had managerial spells with Ilkeston Town, Boston United, Shrewsbury Town, Ipswich Town and Scunthorpe United. In the 2017-18 season he nearly guided Shrewsbury into the Championship, though they lost the play-off final to Rotherham.
Kenny Lunt: “It will be a tough task, there isn’t a game in this league you think you can’t win but there’s also no game that you think will be easy. We found it tough at Grimsby in the cup, but we rested players for the game. We’ll give them the respect they deserve and hopefully we will be making it five unbeaten with a win.”
Paul Hurst: “The squad looks a lot different to what it did last weekend in terms of availability, which will change again come Tuesday night. I’ve got some decisions to make, but they’re good ones, and it’s better than being low on numbers and options."
Crewe Alexandra could hand a debut to deadline day signing Sean Robertson, who joined on loan until the end of the season. Courtney Baker-Richardson and Christopher Long remain sidelined.
Grimsby will welcome back Danny Amos (suspension), John McAtee (loan eligibility) and Mikey O’Neill (cup-tied). Josh Emmanuel and George Lloyd are in contention to make their debuts following their deadline day signings from Hull City and Cheltenham Town respectively.
Grimsby hold the slight advantage in head-to-head battles between both clubs, with the Mariners winning 26 times to the Alex’s 25 victories.
Last time out, it was the Lincolnshire side who were on top, defeating the Railwaymen 4-0 in the EFL Cup at the start of the season.
Paul Howard has been appointed as referee for Saturday’s clash, having last officiated the Alex in September 2021, a 3-1 home defeat against Morecambe.
He will be assisted by Anthony Moore and Jacob Lehane, with Matt Corlett appointed as fourth official.
Elsewhere in League Two
Bradford City v Mansfield Town; Carlisle United v Harrogate Town; Colchester United v Barrow; Doncaster Rovers v Hartlepool United; Gillingham v Crawley Town; Leyton Orient v AFC Wimbledon; Newport County v Swindon Town; Northampton Town v Walsall; Salford City v Rochdale; Stockport County v Tranmere Rovers; Sutton United v Stevenage.
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