It’s the biggest match of the season so far as Port Vale travel to local rivals and promotion chasers Crewe Alexandra on Saturday afternoon…
After Vale failed to break down Oldham Athletic on Saturday, manager John Askey will probably look to bring David Worrall (pictured right) back into the starting eleven after his suspension. Elsewhere, defender Adam Crookes has picked up an injury which means that Cristian Montano is set to continue as an attacking left-back.
The last meeting took place in April last season when that man Tom Pope (pictured right) scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at Vale Park. It completed a double for the Valiants who also won 1-0 at the Alexandra stadium thanks to a rare Leon Legge strike. The Valiants are unbeaten in their last three visits to Crewe. Overall the record stands at 37 Port Vale wins, 20 Crewe victories and 23 draws.
Manager David Artell is sure to get some jeering from Vale fans after some controversial comments in recent years. However, to give the former defender credit, this season’s side are pushing for promotion. There have been plenty of goals at both ends with Crewe scoring an impressive twenty six goals but conceding seventeen in the process. Artell has relied upon defenders Eddie Nolan and Perry Ng at the back, Ryan Wintle and Tom Lowery have been regular starters in midfield while the experienced Chris Porter has eight goals in all competitions so far.
This fixture is always one that former Crewe man Tom Pope relishes. The former Alex targetman has scored four times against his former team. Elsewhere, summer signing Alex Hurst (pictured right) began his career in the Crewe academy but the youngster won’t feature as he is on loan at Bradford Park Avenue. There have been a host of players to appear for both sides in recent years including Michael O’Connor, Byron Moore, Gary Roberts, Uche Ikpeazu, AJ Leitch-Smith and Anthony Grant.
It’s a derby game and an important game for the club, but we will treat it as another game in the League. We want to go out and win and get the points. Take nothing away from them, they’ve started the season well and are top of the league, but it’s just another game in the league and on any day anyone can beat anyone.
They’ve always been a good team when we’ve played them, a good passing and football team. The past two or three years they’ve been near or around the bottom, but they believed and stuck together and you’ve got to give them credit for that…
Port Vale player Cristian Montano (right)
The Valiants conjured up a stunning away win in the League Cup back in 1996. After winning the first-leg at Vale Park 1-0, Vale thrashed Crewe 5-1 in the second leg. The goals came from Ian Bogie, Jon McCarthy (pictured right) , Martin Foyle, Tony Naylor and Lee Mills.