Derby County welcomes Crewe Alexandra to Pride Park for Tuesday’s first-round replay having come from two goals down to keep their FA Cup dream alive.
The Rams fought back to hold their League Two counterparts to a 2-2 draw earlier this month, and a home clash with Bristol Rovers in the second round is on offer for the victors. Crewe Alexandra now have four wins to show from their last five matches in League Two, with their most recent success allowing them to leapfrog Notts County into fourth place in the table, while a record of just one loss from six games on the road also sets the Railwaymen up well for a stopover at Pride Park.
H2H / Stats
Crewe Alexandra have a 4-2 victory with three draws from nine previous matches against Derby County. Prior to the first fixture, the previous meeting between both teams was a friendly in 2011 which ended 2-1 in favour of Crewe.
No fewer than four Derby players will be turning out for their countries during the international break, including Northern Irish duo Conor Washington and Darren Robinson, who have been called up to the senior team and Under-21s respectively.
Sierra Leone’s Tyrese Fornah and Namibia’s Ryan Nyambe are also set to be unavailable for the Rams, who lost Mendez-Laing to injury in the 52nd minute of the weekend’s win over Barnsley, although it is unclear how severe the attacker’s problem is. Jake Rooney (ACL), Liam Thompson (hamstring), Joe Ward (heel), Elliot Embleton (hamstring) and Tyreece John-Jules (thigh) are also missing for the hosts, leaving Mendez-Laing particularly short of cover out wide if he is not passed fit for the match.
As for Crewe, a trio of youth internationals will not be at Bell’s disposal this week, as Connor O’Riordan (Republic of Ireland Under-21s), Matus Holicek (Slovakia Under-19s) and Max Woodcock (Scotland Under-18s) prepare to don their countries’ colours.
Bell will only need to worry about filling the O’Riordan-shaped void in the middle of his defence, though, and 19-year-old Lewis Billington should be assigned to that task at Pride Park. Jack Powell (knee), Zac Williams (ankle), Owen Lunt (back), Joel Tabiner (ankle) and Chris Long (thigh) are among the visitors’ injured troupe, but Charlie Finney and Shilow Tracey were both available against Notts County after overcoming their own concerns.
Probable Line Up
Derby County XI: Wildsmith; Wilson, Nelson, Cashin, Forsyth; Hourihane, Smith; Barkhuizen, Sibley, Mendez-Laing; Collins
Crewe Alexandria XI: Davies; Offord, Demetriou, Billington; Cooney, White, Thomas, Adebisi; Tracey, Baker-Richardson, Nevitt
Derby County will be using the home advantage to fuel their fight against Crewe. While the visitors are on a good form too, this might be a tie that they will have to leave their all on the ground if they are to progress to the next round.
Bet on Derby Win❌
Anytime Goal scorer
Collins was not on target in the first meeting but is considered Derby County’s most dangerous attacker. The forward has five goals in the last two matches and will once again fancy his chances.
Baker showed his quality in the first meeting and could be worth keeping an eye on for Crewe Alexandra. The attacker has scored in his last two matches.
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