Three Lions stars who have played against Reds
With the FIFA World Cup now well underway in Russia, and England hopefully going all the way, we scoured the history books to find some of the players at this year’s tournament that have played against the Reds.
There are three players in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad that have played against the Reds, enjoying varying levels of success.
Dele Alli will remember his visit to the Checkatrade Stadium fondly, as he scored a 96th minute equaliser for MK Dons in a crazy 2-2 draw that saw Matt Harrold take the goalkeeper’s jersey from Brian Jensen late in the first half of our League One clash in January 2015.
Jordan Pickford kept a clean sheet for Carlisle United in a 0-0 here in April 2014, but was to concede on his next visit four months later for his next club Bradford City. Joe Walsh netted for Reds, but the Bantams ran out 3-1 winners.
England defender Harry Maguire featured twice in West Sussex, as he helped his Sheffield United side to two 2-0 wins on consecutive visits to the Checkatrade Stadium, in December 2012 and March 2014.
It is in the Australian squad where we find two more players that have featured in games against Crawley. Harry Kewell’s home nation may have been sent packing from Russia, despite the best efforts of the Socceroos’ team that included James Meredith and Massimo Luongo.
Now at Millwall, Meredith was at Bradford alongside Pickford in that 3-1 win in April 2014.
Luongo plys his trade at Queens Park Rangers but had spent several seasons at Swindon Town, where he made four winless visits to Crawley between 2011 and 2014.
Egypt’s Sam Morsy, of Wigan Athletic, won’t be featuring any further in Russia but he has played Crawley twice, once for Chesterfield and once for Port Vale.
The Spireites came to the Checkatrade in November 2014, with Gavin Tomlin rescuing a point for John Gregory’s Reds in a 1-1 draw.
Two years earlier, Morsy had been part of the Port Vale side that lost 3-2 as Gary Alexander netted twice in a thrilling comeback for the Reds.
Finally, a look at the Iceland squad at this year’s tournament brings up Kari Arnason, who now plays his football at Aberdeen. He featured in Rotherham’s 2-1 win in August 2013, as Steve Evans made his first return to Sussex since leaving for South Yorkshire.
Pictured: Jordan Pickford denies Matt Tubbs playing for Carlisle against Reds in 2014.