PREVIEW: v BARNSLEY (H) PREVIEW: v BARNSLEY (H)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

PREVIEW: v BARNSLEY (H)

On Saturday afternoon Walsall Football Club will play host to Barnsley in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season, below is the latest team news, head to head statistics and information on who will referee the game.
On Saturday afternoon Walsall Football Club will play host to Barnsley in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season, below is the latest team news, head to head statistics and information on who will referee the game.

  WALSALL LATEST  
Walsall haven't played a league game since 29th November's 0-0 draw with Coventry City, and will be looking to build on their mid-week Johnstone's Paint Trophy victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Dean Smith's side haven't lost in five league fixtures, and 'keeper Richard O'Donnell hasn't conceded a goal in the last three league appearances.

Left-back Andy Taylor, who missed the mid-week victory over Tranmere Rovers with a knee injury, will be assessed ahead of kick off, with Rico Henry ready to step in to the position.

Meanwhile winger Jordan Cook, who was replaced at half time in mid-week, is set to feature having been given the all-clear after picking up an knock.

Defender James Chambers, who was substituted with cramp, is expected to continue in the starting line-up.

Whilst midfielder Sam Mantom is set to miss out as he continues to work on his fitness levels.

  THE OPPOSITION  
Barnsley will arrive at this weekend's fixture on the back of an FA Cup First Round draw with Vanarama Premier side Chester, the Tykes' last Sky Bet League One outing taking place on 2nd December, a 1-1 draw at home to Doncaster Rovers.

Danny Wilson's side have won just two of their last five league games, and sit one place below the Saddlers in 14th position.

  HEAD TO HEAD  
In terms of head-to-head of the thirty-nine meetings, it is all square between the two sides, with fourteen draws a piece, there have also been eleven draws between the two sides.

Their first meeting took place on 30th September 1899, a League Division Two match which ended 2-2 at Oakwell Stadium.

In more recent times, their last meeting took place on 6th May 2006, the Tykes defeating the Saddlers 2-1 at Bescot Stadium.

Marc Richards opened the scoring for Barnsley, with Dean Keates equalising from the spot just before the hour mark. Daniel Nardiello put Barnsley back in the lead with an 83rd minute penalty.

The match was something of a - affair with ten yellows and one red being shown. Ian Roper (2), Andy Oakes, Pablo Mills, Anthony Gerrard and James Constable all saw yellow for the Saddlers with Roper being dismissed for two bookable offences after 78 minutes.

Paul Heckingbottom, Brian Howard, Tommy Wright and Daniel Nardiello were all booked for the visitors, as referee Richard Beeby attempted to clamp down on several rash challenges.

The most recent Saddlers victory was on 17th January 2006, an FA Cup Third Round replay. The Saddlers defeating their opponents 2-0 with Michael Leary and Kevin James scoring for the home side, as they continued a rare cup run.

Walsall have won just one of the last five meetings (W 1, D 1, L 3), a statistic which expands to two wins in ten (W 2, D 2, L 6).

  THE OFFICIALS  
The referee for this weekends match will be 47-year-old Trevor Kettle, who is based in Rutland.

Mr. Kettle has officiated over just four games this season, where he has issued thirteen yellow cards, and awarded one penalty.

The most recent Walsall match controlled by Mr. Kettle was last season's fixture away to Gillingham, the match, which took place on 29th December 2013, ended in a 2-2 draw with Cody McDonald grabbing a 92nd minute equaliser for the Gills, following Julian Gray's 90th minute goal.

McDonald had opened the scoring early in the second half, with Romaine Sawyers equalising for the Saddlers just after the hour mark. There were no bookings or dismissals during the match.

Mr. James Mainwaring and Mr. Steven Meredith will be assisting the referee, whilst Mr. David Plowright is due to be Fourth Official.

  BETTING  
Football League sponsors Sky Bet are currently offering various bets for this game, including 'First Goalscorer', 'Correct Score', and much more.

Odds of;  WALSALL: 1/1 DRAW: 12/5 BARNSLEY: 11/4 are currently* available.

Click HERE to visit the Sky Bet website.

*Odds correct as of 00:01, 12/12/2014.

  TICKET NEWS  
Tickets for this game are now on sale at the usual Category B advance prices.

Further information can be found, HERE.
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