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Gillingham’s struggles in League One continued on Saturday afternoon, as they suffered a 7-2 home loss to Oxford, which made it 14 matches without a victory in the third tier of English football.
There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a desperately disappointing few weeks for the club, who have lost nine of their last 11 in the league to drop down into 23rd position in the table.
The Gills, who finished 10th in League One last season, have only picked up 19 points from their 28 league games this term, which has left them three points behind 22nd-placed Crewe and 10 behind 20th-placed AFC Wimbledon, which is an indication of the size of their task.
Steve Lovell remains in charge of the club on a caretaker basis following Steve Evans‘s departure, and the 61-year-old admitted on Saturday that he is still unsure how long he will be in the position.
Gillingham suffered a 2-0 defeat when they travelled to Crewe earlier this season but recorded a 4-1 victory when the pair locked horns in the corresponding contest last term.
Daniel Phillips and John Akinde dropped out of the Gillingham XI for the clash with Oxford on Saturday, but the former is expected to return to the side for this contest.
The home side did not pick up any fresh injury concerns in their heavy defeat, but Ben Reeves remains unavailable for selection due to an ankle complaint.
Caretaker head coach Lovell could also make an alteration in the final third of the field for Tuesday’s match, with Gerald Sithole pushing to be involved from the first whistle.
As for Crewe, Scott Robertson will be unavailable for selection due to the red card that he picked up against Rotherham, while Travis Johnson is expected to miss the contest through injury.
Johnson’s injury, and Robertson’s suspension, could open the door for John Lundstram to earn a starting role for Tuesday’s relegation six-pointer.
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Head coach Artell is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack, though, with Chris Porter and Chris Long set to keep their spots in the final third of the field.
Gillingham possible starting lineup:
Dahlberg; Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, McKenzie; Phillips, Dempsey, O’Keefe; Sithole, Kelman, Lloyd-McGoldrick
Crewe Alexandra possible starting lineup:
Richards; Mandron, O’Riordan, Sass-Davies, Offord, Lundstram; Lowery, Murphy, Finney; Long, Porter