So Solid. Crewe.

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HoskinsWe had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of a memorable 2012 for Boro’, but we’re now finally ready to embrace 2013 and all it (hopefully) has to offer. Did we miss anything while we were readily acclimatising to this Brave New World in the last few days? Apart from that 1-0 defeat at Walsall, we mean. We felt groggy enough on Tuesday after all those NYE festivities without Boro’s official club tweeter and babbler solemnly confirming within the allotted 140 characters that the Saddlers’ late strike had won it…

No? Well, we’ll carry on as we intended then. The rest of the English footballing fraternity is going to be too concerned with the FA Cup for them to notice what we get up to when we get to Crewe tomorrow. It is a shame, because we’re going to win 6-0 and all our fears will almost be forgotten. We even foresee a new-look, 4-4-2-inspired formation to cater for the new loan (not lone!) strikers Sam Hoskins and Steve Beleck. Wowzer!

You might think that we’ve been overdoing the beetroot juice in pursuit of the perfect body and you would be wrong. But we’ll come down from this dizzying high now; this run of bad form will end – factoid. We lost the first game of 2012 at home to Leyton Orient and things didn’t exactly pan out too badly that year; we were 18th or so when we started 2011 back in League One. You see where we’re going with this?

Crewe are no mugs, we know that. They haven’t lost at home in the league since the end of October, so that’s something we’re going to have to overcome. But if the loss at Walsall has led Gary Smith to think differently about tomorrow’s fixture, then it is entirely possible we will see a new shape. Hoskins coming in for either Dunne, Grant or Tansey might happen; Beleck for Haber and Agyemang? It’s plausible…

We’re going to stake our reputation on that. Our reputation of never getting it right on selection predictions.

FIFA 13 Verdict:
The good folks at FIFA haven’t caught up with recent transfers it seems, so we couldn’t enable either of the new strikers to have a run out. But we maintained the principle of a reformed shape… if you count Shroot behind Haber as that. It didn’t quite work out, us being honest y’know. See the score below – a scoreline which merited a fairly dispirited performance from the visitors to Gresty Road.

FT: Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Stevenage (Dalla Valle 38′, 74′)

Bookmakers’ Verdict:
It will come as the least surprising thing you’ve heard this year so far, but Stevenage aren’t exactly fancied for this encounter. It appears at this stage of affairs that were you to bet on Boro’ and they were to produce the goods, you will probably double your stake; 27/11 is the current best with Pinnacle. A home win can be found for 13/10 at BetVictor, with a draw at 17/7 – again Pinnacle are leading the way with that.

Given Boro’s most recent result at Walsall, we’re tempted to suggest the 23/20 available at BetVictor for one team not to score is a tasty proposition. Under 2.5 goals is around 4/5 or 5/6 with most bookies, with a 1-1 stalemate the most favoured outcome at sixes with more than one establishment. For Stevenage to repeat the 1-0 win from their last visit to Crewe, 10/1 is the best available through Coral. Everything correct when written…

Last Season Meeting:
Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Stevenage (League One, 2010/1)

Team Tarot (4-4-2):
Arnold
Gray
Charles
Roberts (c)
Comminges
Akins
Dunne
Tansey
Morais
Hoskins
Haber

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