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Match Preview: v Carlisle United (H)

Here we take a look ahead to this weekend's League Two clash between the Saddlers and Carlisle United.
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

After suffering two defeats in as many games over the festive period, Walsall arrive at their first game of 2021 in need of a return to form.

Despite enjoying a six-game unbeaten run which included a run of four consecutive victories, the Saddlers ended 2020 in disappointing form and will need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later if they are to avoid the inevitable slide down the table.

With attacking outlet Rory Holden facing a spell on the side-lines with what may yet turn out to be a time-consuming knee injury, the Saddlers have to find another creative force if they are to return to the form which saw them climb to one place below the Play-Offs.

Opponents Carlisle arrive at the match on the back of an abandoned meeting with Harrogate Town, the match being called off due to adverse weather but not before Connor Kirby had given Harrogate a lead with just one minute on the clock.

Outside of their called-off clash the Cumbrians have won four of their last six games and will no doubt be looking to return to winning ways - their last two non-abandoned outings resulting in a defeat and a draw.

Head to Head

Walsall and Carlisle United have met on fifty-nine previous occasions and it's the Saddlers who hold an overall win/ loss lead having secured victory on twenty-three occasions compared to the Cumbrians' eighteen.

There have also been eighteen draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began at Brunton Park on Saturday, 7th November 1931 as the two sides met in a Division Three (North) clash which Carlisle won by four-goals-to-nil.

The most recent meeting took place at Brunton Park on Saturday, 25th January 2020 and saw the Cumbrians win by two-goals-to-one as first-half goals from Nick Wilmer-Anderton and Ryan Loft made Mat Sadler's second-half strike a mere consolation.

Man in the Middle

The EFL have confirmed that referee James Oldham, who is based in Derbyshire, will be the man in the middle as Walsall look to bounce back from their Boxing Day defeat to Salford City.

Declan Ford and Paul Evans have been named as assistant referees, whilst Neil Hair will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
17
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
41
2
PENALTIES
7

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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