A look ahead to Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 clash with Port Vale at the People’s Pension Stadium.
The Reds need to improve after two disappointing away defeats in the past week, first at Stevenage then against Mansfield Town on Tuesday. But they have won their last two home games. Port Vale were beaten 3-0 by Colchester last weekend at Vale Park and haven't won in seven in the league. Vale are four points behind Reds in the Sky Bet League 2 table, in 19th place compared to Reds in 17th.
The Reds have won two and lost two in 2019 so far, and have looked good at home in recent weeks. Port Vale have won just once in 11 attempts in Sky Bet League Two – a 3-0 win at Yeovil at the back end of November - but they have drawn their last three on the road.
Luke Hannant scored the only goal of the game back in August as Port Vale picked up a 1-0 win at Vale Park when the Reds were managed by Harry Kewell. That was their fifth win over us, but only their first in three attempts at home.
In contrast, Vale have won their last three games in West Sussex, including a 3-1 victory on the opening day of last season. It is worth remembering that Vale were Crawley’s first ever opponents in the Football League, a game which finished 2-2 at Vale Park in August 2011.
A full guide to past meetings against Port Vale can be found here
Josh Payne is suspended for the next two games after accumulating ten bookings. But Joe McNerney returns from his suspension after a red card against Colchester on New Year’s Day. There are no fresh injury worries for Gabriele Cioffi’s men, with Filipe Morais and Lewis Young now fully fit and have featured in our last two matches.
Vale will be without 11-goal top scorer Tom Pope because of a hamstring injury. Midfielder Adam Crookes, who joined on loan from Nottingham Forest this week, could make his debut.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Gabriele Cioffi: "The home form all season has been pretty good and because of our away results we have come to rely on it a bit. We go into every game here confident of getting a result but Port Vale have a very good record away from home. They are an experienced team with threats throughout their team so once again we need to be at our best. We have played well in recent weeks, even at Stevenage and Mansfield when I felt we deserved four points. We need to keep this going and also have a strong mentality."
Neil Aspin (Port Vale manager): "I have to focus on our team, we have to be positive at Crawley. My fate, my career is in the hands of the players and they have to produce at Crawley. We are not daft, every game now when the team goes out, I feel that my future is in their hands. I would be silly to say otherwise wouldn't I really because we are not getting results. So, we are all aware of that and I can't be more honest than that."
THE MATCH OFFICIALS
The experienced Dean Whitestone will be in charge on Saturday.
In 25 League and Cup games this season he has shown three red and 75 yellow cards.
A regular visitor to Crawley, the Northamptonshire official was last here for the Easter Monday 1-1 draw against Swindon Town last season.
Previous to that, he also refereed a 2-1 home defeat against Exeter City in February 2017.
His other five Reds' appointments have been a 2-1 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon in August 2016, a 1-0 defeat at Gillingham in March 2014, a 1-0 home win over Bradford City in October 2013, the 2-2 draw at Millwall in August 2012 and a 4-1 home win over Oxford United in November 2011.
He will be assisted by Nick Cooper and Andrew Aylott. The fourth official is Chris Wade.
HOW THEY BET
Reds are slight favourites to pick up three points with League sponsors Sky Bet. They are 6/4 with Vale 13/8 and the draw 9/4. More information here
Tickets are available for purchase in all areas of the ground and are available from 10am on match day from the ticket office. There are also ticket pods in Redz Bar, and in the car park in the south-west corner of the stadium. Details here.
The game is available to listen to on iFollow Crawley for subscribers from 2.55pm, with live commentary from BBC Sussex and Surrey’s Gary Smith and summariser Tony Vessey, the former Crawley captain.
You must be a subscriber to listen (UK) to this service. You can subscribe here. Overseas users can of course watch the action live.
There will also be coverage across our social media channels throughout the afternoon. @crawleytown on Twitter, Crawley Town FC on Facebook and crawley_town_fc on Instagram.