Crawley Town v Harrogate Town: Sulphurites aiming to extend historic run
The Sulphurites have picked up 15 of their 23 points this season on the road, and have never won as many Football League fixtures in a row.
They head south buoyed by a strong showing in their previous outing, a 1-1 draw with Swindon at Wetherby Road which ended a sequence of five consecutive home defeats.
Simon Weaver is hoping to have striker Josh March back available for selection following a hamstring issue, and his potential return would boost a squad who are the joint-lowest scorers in the fourth tier.
With just 17 goals to their name from their 18 matches, their expected goals per game (xG) of 0.90 – the worst in the division – reflects their struggles going forward.
At face value they do boast the sixth-best defence in League Two, having conceded 23 times, but an expected goals against (xGA) of 1.28 per game – the fourth highest in League Two – suggests there is still work to be done.
And their back-line has been further depleted, with right-back Toby Sims joining goalkeeper Mark Oxley on the long-term casualty list after it was confirmed this week that he has suffered a lower back injury.
Hosts Crawley triumphed by a 3-1 score-line in last term’s corresponding fixture having drawn 0-0 when they visited the EnviroVent Stadium.
The Red Devils currently sit in 12th position, just one point above 14th-placed Town following a lean spell where they have picked up just four points from a possible 24.
That run stretches back over a seven-game period, during which they have won only once – a 3-1 home victory over Accrington Stanley.
Crawley dangerman Danilo Orsi, a former Harrogate player, has bagged seven league goals, including a brace against Accrington, and midfielder Liam Kelly has managed five assists, so stopping these two should be Town’s priority.
Their 27 league goals and an xG of 1.49 is the seventh highest in the division, though the Sulphurites can look to exploit a leaky defence. Scott Lindsey’s men have conceded 29 goals, the eighth-most in League Two.
Kick-off at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon is at 3pm.