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We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

29 September 2017

It’s a long journey for the Blues this weekend as they hit the road to face Crawley in Sky Bet League Two.

After a home defeat to Stevenage in midweek, Keith Curle will be hoping to guide his side to consecutive away victories when they visit the Red Devils.

But Crawley themselves will be keen to pick up three points and halt a disappointing run of form under former Leeds and Liverpool man Harry Kewell.

We put Crawley under the spotlight ahead of our visit to the Checkatrade Stadium:

A Response is Needed

Similarly to United, Crawley suffered defeat on home soil during the midweek action and Kewell will be looking for his side to bounce back.

The Red Devils lost out to Newport County meaning they have now won only one of their last five league outings, although the sole triumph was an impressive away victory at Barnet.

Crawley are currently perched in 19th place on ten points - only one point and two places behind United.

Their prior results though, which include wins over Yeovil and Swindon, show that they aren’t to be taken lightly.

Home Woes

While some of Crawley’s results have certainly been encouraging, their home form has been far from it.

The Checkatrade Stadium hasn’t proved a happy hunting ground for the Red Devils this season, with only one victory to their name at home thus far.

That triumph was almost a month ago when Yeovil visited, with the four other home games this season all ending in defeat.

Kewell will be desperate for his side’s home record to improve as soon as possible if they are to put even more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

What Does History Tell Us?

The two sides only met for the first time in 2004 and have since met on only 10 occasions.

And it’s the Blues who have the better record, having claimed four victories as opposed to the two of Crawley.

United are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Red Devils, with Carlisle’s last defeat coming back in September 2012.

Last season saw Curle’s side run out 3-1 winners at Brunton Park (in a game which saw THAT goal from Luke Joyce) before the two sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in the return fixture.

Watch the highlights - including Joycey's goal - from last season's home victory here:

Watch the highlights from last season's 3-3 away draw here:

We Don’t Mind a Trip to Crawley ...

While the long journey would be enough to knock plenty of teams off their game at Crawley, it doesn’t seem to have deterred United in recent years.

Indeed the Blues have only ever lost once at Crawley, and that was in the first ever visit to the Checkatrade Stadium back in 2005 – incidentally this game was played on the weekend of the first of most recent flooding events to hit Cumbria.

Since then, Carlisle have gone four games unbeaten at the home of the Red Devils and will be hoping that record is extended further this weekend.

Ones to Watch

+ Mark Connolly - Now in his second spell at Crawley, the experienced centre back re-joined the club in 2016 and has been a first team regular ever since. The Irishman has also turned out for the likes of Kilmarnock, Wolves and Bolton and has now cemented his reputations as a fans’ favourite at the Checkatrade Stadium. Connolly has featured five times already this season and will undoubtedly be a key component of Kewell’s backline moving forward.

+ Dean Cox - Another experienced head, the lively Cox signed for the Red Devils after he departed Leyton Orient at the beginning of last season. After starting his career at Brighton the attacking midfielder spent a fruitful spell at Orient where he set the lower leagues alike with his eye for goal and some creative displays as the Londoners pushed for promotion to the Championship. Now in the fourth tier, Cox can certainly have an in-fluence and help to pull the midfield strings for the Red Devils.

+ Enzio Boldewijn - Comfortable on either flank or as a central attacker, Boldewijn moved to England from his native Holland in 2016 after leaving Almere City. During his final season with Almere, Boldewijn netted nine times while also contributing 12 assists in a fine season. And he has continued that form at Crawley where he has become a lively attacking presence and will certainly give defenders plenty to think about.

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