Lincoln City vs Crewe Alexandra preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
It was Crewe that came out on top when these sides met in December
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With 45 games of this EFL League One season gone, there is just one matchday remaining before the summer break.

For many teams, the fight for promotion, relegation and the play-offs still remain, making this Saturday a thrilling occasion.

However for both Lincoln City and Crewe Alexandra, the season is essentially over. With 2021/22 being a campaign they would likely want to put firmly behind them. 

Team news

Lincoln manager Michael Appleton will be without a number of players for his final XI of the season, with both Conor McGrandles and Ben House ending their seasons early after coming off in their last match. The likes of Lewis Montsma, Liam Bridcutt, Joe Walsh and Cohen Bramall have already been confirmed to miss the remainder of the campaign, leaving the Imps boss short. 

In the other camp, new Crewe boss Alex Morris is likely to leave out experienced forward Chris Porter who announced he is leaving at the end of the season after five years at the club. Meanwhile defender Travis Johnson could be available after recovering from a foot injury, which has caused him to miss The Alex's last four games.

Predicted lineups

Lincoln City:

(4-4-2) Wright, Norton-Cuffy, Jackson, Poole, Robson, Whittaker, Sanders, Fiorini, Scully, Cullen, Marquis

Crewe Alexandra:

(4-2-3-1) Richards, Alebiosu, Sass-Davies, Offord, Williams, Lowery, Uwakwe, Murphy, Ainley, Long, Mandron

Form guide

Lincoln fans have been brought back down to earth somewhat this season, after the heights of two promotions in three seasons, and being just 90 minutes away from the EFL Championship last May. But many will look at the positives of securing their status in English footballs third tier for the fourth successive season, a feat they have not managed since the early 80s. Safety was achieved on Easter Monday after a 3-0 win over Cheltenham Town, although a 2-1 loss away at Accrington Stanley last weekend means fans will be eager for the club to end this forgettable season on a high.

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Meanwhile opponents Crewe will already be preparing for their return to EFL League Two after their relegation was confirmed with four games to spare after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Doncaster Rovers. Their fate has had a certain inevitability about it all season, having been in the drop zone since a loss on matchday two in August, and rock bottom since mid-February. Long standing manager David Artell was sacked following their relegation, leaving newbie Morris with the task of winning promotion from the fourth tier in his first full season in management. And a win on the final day will no doubt help to convince supporters that he is the right man for the job.

Ones to watch

Lewis Fiorini

19-year-old Manchester City midfielder Fiorini endured a tough start to his first ever domestic loan spell, showing rare moments of quality in a sea of uninspiring performances. However, since the turn of the year, Lewis has arguably been one of Lincoln's standout stars, registering nine goals involvements throughout the season. He scored a late consolation in their defeat last weekend, which was his third goal since mid-March, and he'll be hoping to contribute further on Saturday on what will likely be his last appearance for the Imps.

Tom Lowery

Lowery has been with Crewe since he joined their youth system, being promoted to the first team in 2016, and has been a regular in the squad ever since. However contract disputes went on last summer, meaning he didn't make a league appearance until late October this season, with a deal which runs out at the end of this season never being extended. Having been such an important figure for the club for so long, fans will be keen for him to stay, but Morris has admitted that that is unlikely. So therefore when he steps onto the pitch at Sincil Bank on Saturday, it will probably be for the last time in a Crewe shirt.

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Previous meetings

These sides had their reverse fixture in early December, with both Lincoln and Crewe starting the day in exactly the same positions they are now, 18th and 24th respectively. But a 2-0 win for the Railwaymen thanks to two Mikael Mandron penalties lifted them off the foot of the table. That result would have also served as some sort of revenge for Lincoln's three victories over them in 2020/21, which included a 3-0 win when they last met at Sincil Bank in March last year. So City will be hoping that Saturday will bring another comfortable result over the leagues bottom club.

How to watch

For fans that can't attend the game in Lincoln, the match will be available to stream on both teams' iFollow pages. With the highlights up by the end of the day at the latest.

What the managers have said

Lincoln boss Michael Appleton spoke to the club's media ahead of the game, citing how tough a season this has been. He said:

"It's been frustrating this season. We've had very high moments and some fantastic performances and results at difficult places.

"And we've also had the opposite of that.

"I don't want to make excuses but a lot of it has come from things I can't control."

In the other dugout, Crewe manager Alex Morris discussed the final game of the season with the club website, insisting they want to go down fighting. He said:

"I don't agree that there are dead rubbers in football when there is a league game at stake.

"I want us to go to Lincoln, compete and win the game. We want to play well and end on a positive.

"We have played well in patches in the three games (since taking over) and now we want to play well for longer and take that into the summer months." 

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