The Reds are back on the road this afternoon, as Head Coach John Yems returns to familiar territory to face AFC Bournemouth in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup, after defeating Leeds United by three goals to nil over two weeks ago, in our last game played. Since the Leeds euphoria, Crawley are yet to play another game, due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the club.
Crawley are in incredible form, with a ten-game unbeaten run in all competitions since the 1-0 defeat in Walsall. Our last league win, before the drama of Leeds United, came at Bolton Wanderers, as a strike from the skipper, George Francomb, left us all in smiles heading away from the snowy north.
Then came Leeds, in arguably the biggest home fixture in our history, this third-round Emirates FA Cup tie would prove to be our greatest ever victory. As we shocked the nation and the millions watching from home, goals from Ashley Nadesan, Nick Tsaroulla and Jordan Tunnicliffe sunk the Premiership side 3-0.
AFC Bournemouth had a bright start to the season in the Championship, before recently hitting a short slump whereby they have dropped points in five of their last six league fixtures, including defeats against Derby, Luton and Brentford.
So far in the Emirates FA Cup, the Cherries beat Harry Kewell’s Oldham Athletic 4-1 in the third round, making a good start to the competition at The Vitality Stadium.
Our last meetings with AFC Bournemouth came in the 2012/13 League One season, with both sides victorious at home. In October, the Reds were 3-1 victors thanks to goals from Hope Akpan, Joe Walsh and Nicky Adams. Ex-Red Lee Barnard the scorer for the Cherries.
We then travelled to Dean Court in December and lost out 3-0, as goals from Eunan O’Kane, Brett Pitman and a Gary Alexander OG sunk a Reds side that included the likes of Dannie Bulman and Mark Connolly.
The multiple threats that the Championship side possess will be no shock to Crawley Head Coach, John Yems, as he takes on one of his former employers. New signing Jack Wilshere is expected to start on his return to the club after an unsuccessful spell with West Ham.
Wales international David Brooks could feature as well as tricky winger, Arnaut Danjuma, who has recently returned from injury and has scored five league goals this season. Dominic Solanke and Joshua King are the Cherries’ main goal threats, with Solanke netting 10 this season in the Championship.
Colombian international, Jefferson Lerma, is also likely to feature against the Reds after his €30 million move from Levante in the summer of 2018. Lerma is known for his physicality in the middle of the field and likeliness to pick up bookings, already collecting 21 yellows in league competition since joining.
Five unnamed players will be unavailable for the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Reece Grego-Cox is unavailable and Henry Burnett is a doubt. New signings James Tilley and Davide Rodari could both feature. Jordan Maguire-Drew is cup tied for this evening's fixture.
You can hear from Sam Matthews by clicking on the link below.
HOW THEY BET*
AFC Bournemouth 2/7
Crawley Town 9/1
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch all the action live on BT Sport Extra 3 with kick-off coming at 19:00.