Crewe v Southend preview

Team news for Saturday's League Two play-off semi-final first leg between Crewe and Southend at the Alexandra Stadium (kick-off 5.30pm).

Last Updated: 11/05/12 at 16:26

Artell: Back in squad for play-off clash

Artell: Back in squad for play-off clash

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Crewe are set to be boosted by the return of captain David Artell for the crucial clash.

Artell missed the last two games of the season with a hamstring strain but is expected to resume duties at the heart of Alex's defence for the crunch showdown at Gresty Road.

Utility man Ashley Westwood is still nursing a bruised foot, but forward duo Ajay Leitch-Smith and Shaun Miller are back from a dead leg and illness respectively to leave boss Steve Davis with a virtually full-strength squad to pick from as the Railwaymen bid to go 17 games unbeaten.

"The treatment room is virtually clear," said Davis. "Dave has been feeling fine and running around so we will see how he goes.

"Ashley's foot is a bit sore, but he wants to train. Ajay has a dead leg but should be fine.

"Shaun has returned from illness and is back with us and we have everyone nearly available."

Meanwhile, Paul Sturrock has a near fully-fit squad to choose from.

Striker Freddie Eastwood was recalled for last weekend's 2-0 win over Macclesfield and may keep his place.

Fellow forward Elliot Benyon will also be pushing for inclusion to partner veteran Neil Harris in attack.

Sturrock is still without long-term absentees Liam Dickinson (ankle), Jean Paul-Kalala and Barry Corr (both knee) and Christian Dailly (toe). None of the injured quartet are expected to feature.

Southend narrowly missed out on the final automatic place by a point to Crawley on a dramatic final day.

The Shrimpers completed the double over Steve Davis' side this season and will be hoping for a repeat over their two-leg meeting.

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League Two Fixtures

Saturday, 07 February 2015
15:00
AFC W'don v Newport  
Bury v Exeter  
Cambridge Utd v Wycombe  
Cheltenhm v Burton Alb  
Mansfield v Stevenage  
Northamptn v Morecambe  
Oxford Utd v Luton  
Plymouth v Accrington  
Portsmth v Hartlepool  
Shrewsbury v Southend  

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