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Match Previews

Walsall Preview - A Good Friday Trip to the Saddlers Awaits

31 March 2021

Match Previews

Walsall Preview - A Good Friday Trip to the Saddlers Awaits

31 March 2021

Town are on their travels this Friday in the first of two games over the Easter weekend as we make the trip to the Banks's Stadium to face Walsall.



With little over a month of the season remaining, after a couple of disappointing home defeats Simon Weaver will be hoping for a positive finish to his side's debut campaign as a Football League club.

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Since we last met

The two sides last met back in September in a 2-2 entertaining home game that was played at The Keepmoat Stadium. Goals from Aaron Martin and Jack Muldoon cancelled out Rory Holden's early strike only for Josh Gordon to earn the Saddlers a late point.



The Saddlers season has not gone entirely to plan however, with the club posting just one win in 15 games since the turn of the year. The club also saw Darrell Clarke defect to Port Vale in mid-February.

Despite bringing in new faces during the January window, the loss of top scorer Elijah Adebayo, who joined Championship side Luton, has been keenly felt.

The club come into the game in 20th position and just six points from the relegation spaces.

The man in charge

The Saddlers are managed by Brian Dutton, who is at the helm in a caretaker capacity following Clarke's departure. Dutton of course was a former Town player, making 16 appearances in 2009/10, his only season at the club before joining Northwich Victoria.

Dutton also played for a number of other non-league sides during his career, most notably Salisbury City.
This is Dutton's first managerial job, after serving as a coach under Darrell Clarke at Bristol Rovers before re-uniting with him at Walsall for the 2019/20 season.

Players to watch

Both Rory Holden and Josh Gordon are midfield talents to watch, high up on the Saddlers goals and assists charts.

In Adebayo's absence after hitting double-figures, Caolan Lavery is the clubs second-top scorer, having found the net six times this season.

Former Birmingham and Wycombe man Dan Scarr has been a virtual ever-present in the heart of the defence this season.

History

They moved to their current all-seater home, Banks's Stadium in 1990 and posted a record attendance of 11,049 in 2004 against Rotherham. The all-time leader in appearances for the club is Jimmy Walker, who played 534 times across two spells, whilst Alan Buckley is their leading goalscorer, netting 202 times in the 1970's and 1980's.

Walsall have spent the vast majority of their time in the third tier of English football, last playing in the Championship in the early 2000's. They were relegated to League Two at the end of the 2018/19 season and finished in 12th position in last season's campaign.

Team news

Simon Weaver will be without the services of Simon Power, who was this week ruled out for the remainder of the season as a result of the hamstring injury sustained in last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Southend and joins Josh March on the long term absentee list.

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