PREVIEW: v GILLINGHAM (H) PREVIEW: v GILLINGHAM (H)

PREVIEW: v GILLINGHAM (H)

On Sunday evening Walsall Football Club will play host to Gillingham in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. Here are the latest head to head statistics, referee information and more.
On Sunday evening Walsall Football Club will play host to Gillingham in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. Here are the latest head to head statistics, referee information and more.

  WALSALL LATEST...  
Dean Smith's Saddlers head into the game on the back of a 0-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy draw with Preston North End, a result that saw the Saddlers book their place at Wembley Stadium for the final on 22nd March. A feat never achieved by the 127 year-old club.

Walsall have won just two of their last five competitive games (L:3), a statistic that stretches back to four in ten (L:3, D:3).

Smith has no major injury concerns heading into the game, defender James Chambers (cramp) has been declared fit to play.

However midfielder Sam Mantom (knee) remains in a brace, and he will be out for the foreseeable future.

  THE OPPOSITION...  
Gillingham, who sit just one place and two points behind Walsall, arrive at this weekend's match on the back of a 1-1 Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Southern Area Final second leg draw with Bristol City, a result which saw City advance to the final on 5-3 aggregate.

The Gills have won two and lost three of their last five league games, and will be searching for their third league victory in a row, having beaten Coventry City (3-1) and Oldham Athletic (3-2) during their most recent league outings.

Striker John Marquis is set to return, having been ineligible for the second leg draw at Bristol City.

Midfielders Amine Linganzi and Aaron Morris (both hamstring) are still out.

  HEAD TO HEAD...  
In terms of head-to-head, of the one-hundred-and-seven matches played, it's Gillingham that hold a slight lead, with forty-five wins to the Saddlers' forty-one. There have also been twenty-one draws between the two sides.

Their first meeting took place on Saturday 24th September 1927, in Division Three (South), the match, which was in front of 6,923 Fellows Park fans, ended in a 7-4 win for the Saddlers.

In more recent times, they last met at the Gills' Priestfield Stadium on Saturday 20th September 2014, the match ending in a 0-0 draw.

All of the last five meetings have ended in draws, three of which ended without a goal being scored, of the other two games, one, which took place on 29th December 2013, ended 2-2, whilst the other, which was played on 21st April 2014 ended 1-1.

  MATCH OFFICIALS...  
The referee for this match is scheduled to be Mr. Carl Berry, who is based in Surrey.

Referee Berry's was officiating in the Premier Reserve Leagues up until 2009/10, when he was selected to take charge of the  Blue Square Premier match between Eastbourne and Rushden, the match ended 1-1 with Ben Austin and Danny Brown both receiving bookings during the tie.

Mr Berry has taken charge of nineteen games in various competitions this season, where he has issued sixty-eight yellow and five red cards. He has also awarded six penalties during the current campaign.

His most recent Walsall match was the Saddlers' 3-0 away victory over Milton Keynes Dons, which took place just a few weeks ago, on 28th December 2014.

An own goal from Darren Potter along with a Tom Bradshaw brace proving more than enough to secure all three points for a dominant Walsall side.

Saddlers top scorer Tom Bradshaw picked up the only booking of the game.

Mr. Stephen Finch and Mr. Robert Jones will assist the referee, whilst Mr. Mark Jones is scheduled to be Fourth Official.
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