Continuing on from our look at the League One clubs we face this season, here’s Crewe to Ipswich.
Part One, featuring Accrington, AFC Wimbledon, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, Burton and Charlton can be found here.
Av Attendance 2019/20: 4580
Manager: David Artell
Preferred Formation 2019/20: 4-3-3
Last game v City: Crewe 2-1 Imps 26th December 2018
Summer Ins: Offrande Zanzala – Accrington, Mikael Mandron – Gillingham, Donervon Daniels – Luton
Summer Outs: James Jones – Imps, Paul Green, Connor Heath, Nicky Hunt, Aaron Lomas, Shaun Miller and Lewis Reilly (All released)
Crewe are a relatively new face to us, coming out of League Two, but are familiar to those who go back more than a single season. I always liked what David Artell was doing with his side; they beat us 2-1 in our last encounter and were really unlucky to lose 1-0 the last time they came to the Bank. His team is always well-drilled, puts in a good shift at home and has the scope to outplay anyone on their day.
They’ve kept together much of last year’s side, only losing Jake Jones to us involuntarily. The rest of their business has been quiet, but they’re a team with momentum behind them and trust in a method that has been building over a couple of seasons. I fancy them to be alright, maybe not to challenge the top ten, but certainly not one of the relegation candidates.
Av Attendance 2019/20: 8252
Manager: Darren Moore
Preferred Formation 2019/20: 4-2-3-1
Last game v City: Doncaster 3-1 Imps, 3rd September 2019
Summer Ins: Jason Lokilo – Crystal Palace, Josef Bursik – Stoke (loan), Taylor Richards – Brighton, Ed Williams – Kidderminster, Cameron John – Wolves
Summer Outs: Ian Lawlor – Oldham, Kieran Sadlier, Devante Cole, Alex Baptiste, Alex Kiwomya (All released)
Doncaster should be challengers this season. they finished in the top half last time out and under Darren Moore looked to have made decent progress, given how surprising it was Grant McCann left when he did. However, despite the good placing, it was a season of decline and I can’t help but feel this season might see them slide a little further. The visit of Mccann with his current side Hull is going to be eagerly anticipated, but unlike the Tigers, I don’t see Doncaster as a serious promotion threat this season.
That said, they’re the sort of club we should be looking to emulate in terms of ambition. They’re a fringe top ten side for me, something we aspire to, and with similar attendances and managers with strong West Brom connections, there are parallels to be drawn between us. It will be nice to finally welcome them to the Bank for a league game; despite being in the same division last season, we haven’t faced them in the league at home since 2003, when we drew 0-0 in their second away trip back in the Football League.