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Aug 31, 2021 at 7pm UK
ShrewsburyShrewsbury Town
CreweCrewe Alexandra

Leshabela (41'), Daniels (58')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Knight (90+2')

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

:Headline: Preview: Shrewsbury Town vs. Crewe Alexandra - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's EFL Trophy clash between Shrewsbury Town and Crewe Alexandra, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The English Football League Trophy campaign kicks off later this week for Shrewsbury Town, who open the tournament at home to Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday from New Meadow.

These League One sides met in the group stage of this competition last season, with the Shrews coming out on top 4-3 to win their group with the Railwaymen finishing second.

Match preview

It has not been an ideal beginning to the 2021-22 campaign for Steve Cotterill and his team, who are third from the bottom of League One with one win and four losses.

On Saturday, they overcame an early goal from Gillingham FC, scoring on a pair of second-half strikes, and they will hope that they can ride that momentum into this tournament.

While they are not off to a great start domestically, the Shrews have fared well in previous campaigns at this tournament, making it to the knockout round in each of their last four appearances, including a trip to the final in 2017-18.

Salop played with more purpose and determination in the second half this past weekend than they had in any of their previous domestic league encounters, as they kept a solid defensive shape through the match.

Goals have been hard to come by so far for this team in the 2021-22 campaign with only two in League One, but historically they have been fairly clinical in the final third at this tournament, as they have only been shut out of two of their round-robin games since they expanded the format of this tournament to include a group stage in 2016-17.

Cotterill has not had an impressive time at the helm of Shrewsbury so far, but he knows what it takes to win trophies as a manager, guiding Bristol City to the League One title and the Football League Trophy in 2014-15.

As bad as Shrewsbury have started this season, the Alex have been even worse, with only one point after five league matches.

Manager David Artell criticized his team's decision-making following their 2-0 defeat to Charlton on Saturday as they conceded two quick goals near the end of the first half and misfired on several good opportunities in half number two.

While they have been disappointing in front of goal, scoring only once in five domestic league fixtures, there were at least some positives for this team to take away from that match, which is something that they could not say when they were thoroughly dominated by Leeds United in their EFL Cup tie last Tuesday, losing 3-0.

They were a resilient side in their last appearance at this competition in 2020-21, making it into the knockout stage for the first time since a group portion was added to this event along with more teams.

The Railwaymen have had their share of struggles away from home this season, going goalless in all three of their league fixtures, but they have played well on the Shrews' home ground, winning their last three matches against them as the visiting side and also pulling off a famous 2-1 win in the second round of this tournament in 2012-13 en route to winning the title.

Shrewsbury Town form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Crewe Alexandra form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

The Shrews got goals from Daniel Udoh and Shaun Whalley in their last encounter with the Railwaymen last season, but still lost 3-2.

Newcomers Sam Cosgrove and Tom Bloxham each scored their first goals of the season on Saturday to help them earn their first points of this campaign.

Harry Burgoyne, the reserve goalkeeper, was red-carded following an altercation late in their match this past weekend, while David Davis received two yellow cards in injury time in that match.

Mikael Mandron led the team in goals a season ago with 11 and is the only player to find the back of the net after five League One encounters, with their only other goal coming from Callum Ainley in a 1-0 win over Hartlepool in the opening round of the EFL Cup.

The experience of midfielder Luke Murphy could be extremely valuable in this competition, as the club skipper scored the winning goal in the final of this tournament in 2012-13, leading the Railwaymen to their first and only Football League Trophy to date.

Chris Porter was the hero for Crewe Alexandra in their last meeting with Shrewsbury, scoring the winner in the 81st minute, while Ben Knight, currently on loan from Manchester City, will be counted on to contribute some goals to this team who are struggling offensively.

Shrewsbury Town possible starting lineup:
Marosi; Bennett, Pierre, Ebanks-Landell, Nurse; Whalley, Leshabela, Vela, Daniels; Cosgrove, Udoh

Crewe Alexandra possible starting lineup:
Jaaskelainen; Ramsay, Thomas, Offord, Johnson; Girffiths, Murphy, Lundstram; Mandron, Porter, Knight

We say: Shrewsbury Town 2-2 Crewe Alexandra (Shrewsbury wins on penalties)

These teams should be very familiar with one another, having met three times in all competitions since 2020, and while neither side have been very clinical in front of goal, they seem to score more against each other with 13 goals between them in their last three games.

Shrewsbury have already been involved in one penalty shootout this year and that experience of winning in such a pressure cooker should give them an edge in what promises to be a tight affair.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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