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

Match Preview: v Port Vale (A)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' League Two clash with 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 once again.

News and Views

Following a duo of draws, with Oldham Athletic and Morecambe respectively, the Saddlers are back in action this weekend as they travel the short distance to Vale Park where they will face Port Vale.

Despite earning just two points from their last five league outings, the Saddlers have been in improved form over recent games and will be looking to further that improvement as they seek to earn their first win of 2021.

The team has seen its fair share of injuries over recent weeks giving the manager plenty of work to do as he looks to get the team heading in the right direction as they continue to navigate the second half of the campaign.

Clarke has been able to add a trio of youngsters to his squad over recent weeks as Aston Villa winger Tyreik Wright, Birmingham City forward Jayden Reid, and Bournemouth midfielder Frank Vincent have all arrived in WS1.

Hopefully the added competition for places will light something of a fire underneath a few of our underperforming players as there remain plenty of points up for grabs.

Opponents Port Vale have won just one of their last eight league games and will also arrive at this weekend's match on the back of a draw as they and Forest Green Rovers played out a one-all draw last weekend.

Head to Head

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

There have also been twenty-six 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.

In more modern times the most recent meeting took place at Banks's Stadium on Saturday, 19th December 2020 and saw both sides hit the back of the net in a high-scoring encounter which ended in a 4-3 win for the Saddlers.

Walsall's goals came via a pair of braces as former Saddlers loanee Jake Scrimshaw and Dan Scarr scored whilst Tom Pope, Tom Conlon, and Devante Rodney netted for the visitors.

Man in the Middle

The EFL has confirmed that Lee Swabey, who is based in Devon, will be the man in the middle as Walsall look to build upon Tuesday evening's one-all draw with Morecambe.

Darren Wilding and Geoffrey Russell have been named as assistant referees, whilst Peter Wright 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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