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League Two | Gameweek 41
Mar 29, 2024 at 3pm UK
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Crewe Alexandra

0 - 0

Morris (46'), Ehmer (82')

Cooney (70'), Austerfield (74'), Turns (84')

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

Sports Mole previews Friday's League Two clash between Gillingham and Crewe Alexandra, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Playoff chasers Gillingham and Crewe Alexandra will be desperate to claim a victory when they meet at Priestfield Stadium on Good Friday.

Gillingham will head into this contest outside of the top seven positions on goal difference, with Crewe six points ahead of their forthcoming opponents with a game in hand.

Match preview

Gillingham's Jake Turner reacts after Sheffield United's James McAtee scores their third goal on January 6, 2024© Reuters

Having seen their positive progress slowed by a run of four matches without claiming all three points, Gillingham returned to winning ways with a 3-2 victory away to Morecambe last weekend.

The Gills twice came from behind at the Globe Arena, before Connor Mahoney sent the away fans into raptures by scoring a crucial winner four minutes from the end of normal time. In truth, it was a match that could have swung either way, but it ensured that Gillingham kept pace with Crawley just outside of the playoff spots.

Having finished a lowly 17th in their first season back in League Two for a decade last time around, their fanbase will be delighted to be in contention for promotion, especially having suffered from managerial disruption earlier in the campaign when Neil Harris was sacked last October.

Former West Bromwich Albion assistant coach Stephen Clemence has performed admirably in his first ever role as manager, but with only six games of the season remaining, he will be more than aware that his players cannot afford to slip up many times at all if they are to be involved beyond the end of the regular campaign.

Crewe Alexandra's Christopher Long shoots at goal on January 12, 2022© Reuters

Crewe, on the other hand, have created more of a buffer for themselves despite only winning one of their last five games, having been in the top seven positions in the table for the vast majority of the season.

The Railwaymen were held to a 1-1 draw against playoff chasing rivals AFC Wimbledon last weekend, with John-Kymani Gordon and Rio Adebisi exchanging strikes within the opening 13 minutes. The match lacked quality throughout, with Wimbledon seemingly content to hold onto a point away from home.

Having stabilised Crewe since being appointed in November 2022, ultimately finishing 13th following relegation from League One in the 2021-22 campaign, not many would have foreseen Lee Bell's Crewe challenging towards the top of the table this time around.

Yet, having regularly bounced between the third and fourth tiers within the past 15 years, perhaps it should not come as a major surprise that they find themselves on the cusp of restoring their status in League One.

While their forthcoming opponents can only realistically hope to claim a playoff spot, automatic promotion is not out of the equation for Crewe just yet. They trail third-placed Wrexham by five points ahead of travelling to Kent on Friday, meaning that they will surely need to win the majority of their remaining seven matches if they are to squeeze into the top three.

Gillingham League Two form:

Crewe Alexandra League Two form:

Team News

Gillingham manager Stephen Clemence before the match on January 6, 2024© Reuters

Having shown great spirit to come from behind on two occasions before claiming a vital victory against Morecambe last time out, Clemence is unlikely to make any changes to his starting XI.

That means Wales international Jonny Williams should start in an attacking midfield role once again, with former Millwall full-back Scott Malone reduced to making an impact from the bench.

Crewe, on the other hand, lacked offensive invention against Wimbledon last weekend, meaning that Bell could turn to Chris Long from the outset as a potential solution in attack.

Otherwise, though, the 41-year-old - who enjoyed two spells at the club during his playing career - is unlikely to make any drastic decisions given his side's overall performance levels throughout the campaign.

Gillingham possible starting lineup:
Morris; Hutton, Ehmer, Ogie, Clark; McKenzie, Dieng; Mahoney, Lapslie, J Williams; Hawkins

Crewe Alexandra possible starting lineup:
Booth; Adebisi, Turns, Demetriou, Z Williams; Thomas, Austerfield; Tracey, Leigh, Kirk; Long

SM words green background

We say: Gillingham 1-1 Crewe Alexandra

Despite their relatively lofty positions in League Two's table, neither team have been in particularly good form of late, winning just two matches from their last 10 games combined.

As such, we can envisage both managers being content with avoiding defeat on Friday, as they look to remain in contention to claim one of the four playoff spots on offer.

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

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1Accrington StanleyAccrington00000000
2AFC Wimbledon00000000
4Bradford CityBradford00000000
6Carlisle UnitedCarlisle00000000
7Cheltenham TownCheltenham00000000
9Colchester UnitedColchester00000000
10Crewe AlexandraCrewe00000000
11Doncaster RoversDoncaster00000000
12Fleetwood TownFleetwood00000000
14Grimsby Town00000000
15Harrogate TownHarrogate00000000
16MK Dons00000000
18Newport CountyNewport00000000
19Notts County00000000
20Port Vale00000000
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22Swindon TownSwindon00000000
23Tranmere RoversTranmere00000000

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