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Crewe Alexandra
FA Cup | Second Round
Dec 12, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Alexandra Stadium
Bristol Rovers
2 - 4
Bristol Rovers
Nevitt (65'), Rowe (73')
Offord (40'), Baker-Richardson (55')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Marquis (18'), Wilson (25'), Evans (42'), Cooney (49' og.)
Marquis (41'), Taylor (65'), Taylor (65')

Preview: Crewe Alexandra vs. Bristol Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's FA Cup clash between Crewe Alexandra and Bristol Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Crewe Alexandra and Bristol Rovers will lock horns in the FA Cup on Tuesday evening, with a position in the third round of the competition on offer for the two sides.

The pair were initially set to meet on December 2, but the fixture at Gresty Road had to be postponed due to a frozen pitch, with the ground staff unable to make the surface playable despite their best efforts.

Match preview

General view of Crewe Alexandra's Gresty Road from 2014© Reuters

Crewe claimed an impressive scalp in the first round of this season's FA Cup, beating Derby County 3-1 in a replay after the two sides had played out a 2-2 draw in their first match at the start of November.

The Alex's best performance in the FA Cup came in 1888, when they managed to reach the semi-finals, but it is difficult to see them making too much of an impression in this season's competition, especially as their focus is firmly on what has been a strong league campaign to date.

Liam Bell's side will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Grimsby Town on Saturday, but they are currently up in fifth position in the League Two table, boasting 36 points from their opening 20 matches.

Crewe are only one point behind second-placed Wrexham on the same number of games, and they certainly look capable of challenging for promotion based on their performances and results so far this term.

The Railwaymen have also won each of their last four matches against Bristol Rovers in all competitions, while they are unbeaten against Tuesday's opponents since October 1996.

Rotherham manager Matt Taylor on April 18, 2023© Reuters

Indeed, Bristol Rovers have not overcome Crewe since a 2-0 victory in Division Two during the 1996-97 campaign, but this is their first meeting in the FA Cup since January 1991, when Crewe won 2-0.

The Pirates, in theory, are the favourites, due to the fact that they play a league higher than their opponents, with the visitors currently operating in League One.

Matt Taylor's side will bring a four-game winless run into this match, though, including a 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town in the league on Saturday afternoon.

Bristol Rovers have picked up 25 points from their 19 League One games this season, which has left them in 13th position in the table, 11 points off the playoff positions.

The Pirates comfortably secured their spot in the second round of this season's FA Cup courtesy of a 7-2 victory over Whitby Town at the start of November.

Crewe Alexandra FA Cup form:

Crewe Alexandra form (all competitions):

Bristol Rovers FA Cup form:

Bristol Rovers form (all competitions):

Team News

Crewe head coach Bell could name the same side that took to the field for the first whistle of the 3-1 success over Derby in their first-round replay last month.

Aaron Rowe netted twice in that fixture and should continue in the final third, while there is also expected to be a position in the final third for Courtney Baker-Richardson.

Joe White scored off the bench against Grimsby in the league on Saturday, and he is also likely to come into the starting XI for the FA Cup contest with the League One outfit.

As for Bristol Rovers, head coach Taylor will make a number of changes to the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Cheltenham in the league on Saturday.

There should be positions for Scott Sinclair and John Marquis in the final third of the field, while Tristan Crama is also expected to feature in a defensive position for the visitors.

Luke Thomas and Connor Taylor could potentially be among the players to keep their spots in the XI from the weekend, but there will be chances for squad players to impress here.

Crewe Alexandra possible starting lineup:
Davies; Offord, Demetriou, Billington; Cooney, Colkett, Finney, White, Adebisi; Baker-Richardson, Rowe

Bristol Rovers possible starting lineup:
Cox; Gibbons, C Taylor, Crama, Gordon; Thomas, Bogarde, Evans, Sinclair; Marquis, Brown

SM words green background

We say: Crewe Alexandra 2-1 Bristol Rovers

This is a really tough match to call, as both managers will make changes to their usual starting teams. It would not be a surprise to see Bristol Rovers advance, but we just have a feeling that Crewe will be able to use home advantage to navigate their way into the third round of the competition, which would bring a trip to Norwich City.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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