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Match Preview: v Tranmere Rovers (A)

Here, we look ahead to the Saddlers' next competitive outing, which sees them come up against Tranmere Rovers.
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

Following a rare week without football, the Saddlers returned to action on Wednesday evening as they played host to Stevenage at a chilly Banks's Stadium.

In a match which saw the Reds continue to display both their lack of attacking endeavour and ability to gift the opposition chances it was ultimately a game of two penalties as former Saddler Aramide Oteh and the returning Josh Gordon were able to convert their chances with the teams taking a share of the spoils.

Whilst a point is always better than none, it appeared the Saddlers could've played another ninety minutes - Josh Gordon's goal arriving in the 91st minute - without grabbing a goal from open play.

As with several of our outings so far this season, the team once again failed to truly test the opposition 'keeper as shots found their way wide of goal with the Reds continuing to misfire when opportunities came their way.

Securing as many points from draws as they have from wins it's high time the Saddlers made more of their often rare opportunities in front of goal and took more than just a share of the spoils.

The return of Josh Gordon will serve as a major boost heading into this weekend's clash, but we'd be foolish to expect too much out of the frontman as he looks to build match fitness following a spell on the side-lines.

Hopefully, the manager will be able to call upon a few more of his recently injured and suspended stars as the busy December schedule continues this weekend.

Opponents Tranmere are in superb form and arrive at this weekend's match with a run of five league wins on the bounce and will surely expect to continue that run as they take on the Saddlers in front of 2,000 fans at Prenton Park.

Sitting just outside the Play-Off places, Rovers, who will face Barnsley in the Third Round of the FA Cup, will be full of confidence this weekend, meaning the Saddlers will have to be at their best if they are to take anything from the contest.

Head to Head

Walsall and Tranmere Rovers have met on seventy-three previous occasions and it's the Saddlers who hold an overall win/loss advantage having won on thirty-three occasions compared to Rovers' twenty-five.

There have also been fifteen draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began at the Prenton Park on Saturday, 10th September 1921 as the two sides met in a Division Three (North) clash in which the Saddlers won by one-goal-to-nil.

The most recent meeting, a Carabao Cup - First Round clash, took place at Prenton Park on Tuesday, 14th August 2018 and saw the Saddlers win by three-goals-to-one as Morgan Ferrier (29'), Josh Ginnelly (64') and Zeli Ismail (68') all found the back of the net, making Larnell Cole's late goal a mere consolation.

Man in the Middle

The EFL has confirmed that Durham-based Martin Coy will be the man in the middle as Walsall look to build upon their recent one-all draw with Stevenage.

Christopher Ward and Abbas Khan have been named as assistant referees, whilst Ben Toner will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
10
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
25
2
PENALTIES
3

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.

Don't forget you can join us across social media, we're @BescotBanter on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also find the very latest Saddlers news and updates on Google News.
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