Port Vale make the much-anticipated trip to local rival’s Crewe Alexandra this afternoon as the Valiants will look to continue their impressive recent form against the Railway Men.
Fixture: Crewe Alexandra v Port Vale
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Saturday 2nd November
Kick-Off: 3:00 pm
Venue: Gresty Road
Referee: Ross Joyce
Manager: John Askey
Top Goal Scorer: Richie Bennett (4 Goals)
The Vale are heading into this local derby having lost just one game in their last nine in all competitions and are sat just five points adrift the play-offs. Crewe may be sat at the top of the league, but with wins over Bradford City and Plymouth Argyle this season, John Askey will not be worried about league positions.
The Valiants will also take confidence from their record over their rivals over the last few seasons, having won three of the last four against Crewe. The Vale currently hold the bragging rights after doing the double over David Artell’s men last term and have not tasted defeat away to the Railway Men since 2014.
Emmanuel Oyeleke and Tom Conlon still remain sidelined for this one, yet Conlon has returned to training and should return quicker than expected. Adam Crookes is also set to miss out as the club are awaiting results of a scan on a groin injury for the Vale full-back, yet David Worrall returns from suspension.
“We know there is going to be a decent crowd, good following from ourselves, so its only natural for players to want to play in those sort of games.”
John Askey, Port Vale Manager
Manager: David Artell
Top Goal Scorer: Chris Porter (7 goals)
The Alex have made an emphatic start to the campaign, Artell’s men currently sit at the top of League Two and haven’t tasted defeat since the middle of September in a 3-2 home defeat to Cambridge United.
Despite having lost just three of their 15 league games this term, form will go out of the window this afternoon, and Crewe will be searching for their first victory over the Vale since August 2017.
Artell will still be without defender Olly Lancashire who is still sidelined with an achilles injury. Forward Daniel Powell may also be a doubt as he is to undergo late checks to see if he is available for this one.
One to watch: Tommy Lowery
At just 21-years-old, Tommy Lowery has been instrumental in Crewe’s impressive start to the season, starting all 15 league games, and registering four goals as well as three assists in the process.
The youngster rose through the ranks at Crewe and was awarded his first professional contract with the club in 2016 after impressing with the u18's and u23's.
Despite injuries looking to be a setback for Lowery, his impressive performances were rewarded with a three-and-a-half-year contract in 2018 as the club look to make him an integral part of their promotion push.
John Askey: “It’s obviously the one you look at at the beginning of the season, its bragging rights isn’t it until the next game.
“At the moment weve still got the bragging rights having won the last few games so I’m sure Crewe will be doing their hardest to turn that over, but it’s a really important fixture for us.”
David Artell: "To us it's another three points, but we know how much this means to the fans."
iFollow The Vale will be providing full 90-minute commentary from the match, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be the build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.