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Match Preview: v Shrewsbury Town (A)
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Match Preview: v Shrewsbury Town (A)
Match Preview: v Shrewsbury Town (A)

Match Preview: v Shrewsbury Town (A)

Here we take a closer look at Saturday evening's season-ending League One clash between Shrewsbury Town and Walsall.
Don't forget to join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, we're @BescotBanter, where we'll bring you all the matchday build up and in-game updates as the Saddlers look to secure an unlikely spot in League One for another campaign.

Walsall Views and News
A welcome win over Peterborough United means Skip's Saddlers arrive at their final game of the season with a slim chance of retaining their place in League One for at least another season.

Needing a win and a couple of favourable results elsewhere, the Saddlers will have to have their wits about them if they are to make the most of this unexpected opportunity as the Shrews will no doubt welcome the chance to relegate their near rivals.

The first goal could prove crucial so lets hope the Saddlers can withstand any early pressure and get a nerve-setting goal and not allow the contest to drag until the final minutes.

The injury news remains the same as on-loan Norwich City winger Matt Jarvis continues to miss out with an ankle injury. The 32-year-old has been absent since the goalless draw with Burton Albion at the start of last month.

The club's other long-term absentees Kory Roberts (broken leg), midfielder Adam Chambers (foot), and Maziar Kouhyar (ACL) remain out of action with no set date for a return to first-team football.

Opposition News
Seventeenth-placed Shrewsbury will arrive at this weekend's clash on the back of last weekend's one-all draw with Coventry City, the result giving the Shrews a four-point lead over the relegation zone meaning they've avoided the drop for at least another season.

The New Meadow side have only taken four more points than the Saddlers over the last ten league games with Sam Ricketts' team winning just three of their last eleven league outings.

The summer will no doubt be a busy one for the Shrews as they look to rebuild their squad in a bid return to the form which saw them reach the League One Play-Off Final at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

Shrews are without defender Ryan Sears after confirming he will be out for nine months Sears suffered a serious knee injury in training, rupturing his ACL, and needs surgery. Midfielder David Edwards (ankle) and goalkeeper Steve Arnold (hamstring) also remain on the sidelines.

Head to Head
Walsall and Shrewsbury have met on ninety-six previous occasions and it's the Saddlers who hold a healthy overall lead having won on forty-three previous occasions, compared to the Shrews' twenty-five.

There have also been twenty-eight draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began at Gay Meadow on Saturday, 17th November 1945 as the two sides met in an FA Cup - First Round clash which the Shrews would win by five goals-to-nil.

During the 1945/46 edition of the tournament the first six rounds were two legged affairs and as a result the Saddlers and Shrews met in their Second Leg just a few days later. The result was more favourable for the Saddlers as they won the match 4-1, ultimately exiting the competition 6-4 on aggregate.

The first league meeting didn't take place until the 1951/52 campaign with Shrewsbury playing host to the Saddlers in a Division Three (South) clash on Monday, 3rd September 1951 before the Shrews repaid the favour in later that month.

The Last Time We Met
The most recent league meeting took place at Banks's Stadium on Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, and saw the two sides take a share of the spoils as they played out a goalless draw.

The last all-competition clash came on Wednesday, 5th December in the Second Round of this season's Checkatrade Trophy as goals from Alex Gillead and Doug Loft made Kieron Morris' 77th-minute strike a mere consolation.

The Man in the Middle
We now know that Sebastian Stockbridge, who is based in Tyne & Wear, will be the man in the middle with Wayne Grunnill and Hristo Karaivanov being listed as assistant referees. Gary Hilton will act as Fourth Official.

Listen Live
Supporters who are unable to attend the game can listen LIVE to full match commentary via the club's in-house audio service - iFollow Walsall - which takes you through the highs and lows of another Saddlers match.

Not a iFollow Walsall subscriber? A range of options are available, including monthly, annual and gift subscriptions. You can purchase a subscription, or find further information on the service by clicking HERE.

Don't forget, you can also join us across social media, we're @BescotBanter on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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