United will be looking to extend their five-game unbeaten run when Crawley Town visit Cumbria this Sunday.

Keith Curle’s side have enjoyed fine results of late which puts them on the edge of the top seven and firmly in play-off contention. 

Also in contention are this week’s visitors, Crawley, who sit 12th after some impressive results under former Leeds and Liverpool man Harry Kewell.

We put Crawley under the spotlight ahead of their visit to Brunton Park: 

Play-Off Push 

Similarly to United, Crawley are looking to break into the play-offs after some excellent results since the turn of the year. 

The Red Devils have lost just three times since the turn of the year and have picked up some eye-catching victories, including triumphs over promotion-chasing Lincoln, Notts County and Accrington.

While their recent form hasn’t been as promising, with Crawley winning just one of their last four, Kewell’s side sit just six points off the play-off places. 

And with ten games still to play, the Red Devils will be hoping to mount a late surge into the top seven. 

Preparation Key For Kewell

It’s a 668-mile round trip from Crawley’s Checkatrade Stadium to Brunton Park, and Kewell is keen that the Red Devils prepare properly ahead of the mammoth journey. 

Crawley are ditching their usual plan of travelling on a Friday morning ahead of their longest trip of the season, and will instead break the journey up. 

Kewell explained: “To do that journey in a day, with all the usual issues of Friday traffic on the motorways, as well as train would be a big ask of the players. 

"The club appreciate that so we have travelled today and will have an overnight stop in Cheshire. We will then train on Friday locally before heading up to Carlisle. 

"It breaks the journey, allows the players to get decent rest and hopefully it can contribute towards a good performance on Saturday." 

What Does History Tell Us? 

The two sides only met for the first time in 2004 and have since met on only 11 occasions. 

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

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

Our meeting earlier in the season ended in a 1-0 win for the Blues, as Hallam Hope’s second half strike handed United three points.

Watch the highlights from the away victory against Crawley Town earlier this season here:

Ones to Watch 

+ Mark Connolly - Now in his second spell at Crawley, the experienced centre back rejoined 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 influence 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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