Match Preview: v Port Vale (H) Match Preview: v Port Vale (H)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Preview: v Port Vale (H)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' next competitive outing, which sees them play host to Port Vale.
Don't forget you can join across social media where we'll bring you all the matchday build-up, in-game updates, and post-match reaction as Darrell Clarke and his Saddlers return to action.

News and Views

Heading into the match on the back of a three wins in as many games, the Saddlers are looking to continue their push for the Play-Offs as they welcome Port Vale to a sadly empty Banks's Stadium.

Recent spells of indifferent and often frustrating form have fallen by the wayside as the Saddlers have shown a welcome ability to battle until the bitter end as they have opened a comfortable gap over the battle to beat the drop.

With Elijah Adebayo hitting form at the right time, the Saddlers' front-line has suddenly developed into a potent attacking threat with the likes of Josh Gordon, Rory Holden and, following a slow start to the season, Wes McDonald all providing a threat in the final third.

Winning just one of their last eight league outings, including a five-game losing streak, opponents Port Vale arrive in WS1 in desperate need of both a positive result and performance.

Their most recent outing saw them play out a one-all draw with current Play-Off hopefuls Forest Green Rovers. Despite entering a largely dominant performance, Tom Pope’s deflected first-half effort was not enough to earn Port Vale three points. 

Head to Head

Walsall and Port Vale have met on ninety-three previous occasions and its the Saddlers who hold a comfortable win/loss advantage having won on forty-two occasions compared to the Valiants' twenty-five.

There have also been twenty-six draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began at the Athletic Ground on Saturday, 31st December 1892 as Burslem Port Vale and Walsall Town Swifts met in a League Division Two match which the home side won by three-goals-to-nil.

The two sides went on to trade victories for the next two years with each side earning three wins from their first six encounters.

The most recent meeting took place at the Banks's on Saturday, 22 February 2020 and saw the spoils shared as the pair played out a two-all draw in front of over 6,000 fans in WS1.

Walsall twice bounced back from going behind with Elijah Adebayo and Josh Gordon netting for the hosts with Leon Legge and Scott Burgess hitting the back of the net for the travelling Vale.

Man in the Middle

The EFL has confirmed that Anthony Backhouse, who is based in Cumbria, will be the man in the middle as Walsall look to build Saturday afternoon's narrow victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Paul Graham and Matthew Smith have been named as assistant referees, whilst Matthew Bristow will act as Fourth Official.


Catch the Match

As we're still unable to attend the game in person we can catch the match via the club's in-house service - iFollow Walsall - which takes you through the highs and lows of each and every Saddlers match.

Not a iFollow Walsall subscriber? A range of options are available, including monthly, annual and gift subscriptions along with a £10 video pass which will enable you to watch the match.

You can purchase a subscription, or find further information on the service by clicking HERE.
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