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Match Preview: v Hartlepool United (A)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' League Two clash with Hartlepool United,
Don't forget to join us across our social media channels where we'll bring you all the matchday build-up, in-game updates, and post-match reaction as the Saddlers return to action.

Pre-Match News & Views

The Saddlers arrive at Saturday's match on the back of a one-all draw with Scunthorpe United and in need of all three points.
 
After failing to win any of their four all-competition games, the Reds sit in the relegation zone, with their bid to avoid a repeat of last season's 19th place finish not starting as well as fans may have hoped following a summer overhaul.
 
Head Coach Matthew Taylor has used his midweek press meetings to speak of his desire to get some more points on the board, whilst also insisting he has a squad capable of mounting a challenge on the upper echelons of the table.
 
The more vocal members of the Saddlers' fanbase have been quick to condemn their team's recent displays, and, whilst it is still very early days, their views will only gain further support as long as the current spell of form continues.
 
In terms of teamnews, playmaker Rory Holden has been ruled out for an unknown amount of time, whilst Joss Labadie is also a doubt after missing the midweek draw with Scunthorpe United.
 
Opponents Hartlepool have played two league games so far this season and have won one and lost the other. They'll arrive at this weekend's game on the back of a 3-2 defeat to Barrow and looking to add to the pressure which is already building upon the Saddlers.
 
Pools boss Dave Challinor has a fully fit squad to choose from. Mark Cullen has overcome his illness to be in contention, while Will Goodwin and Tyler Burey will hope to continue their goalscoring form.
 
Jake Lawlor, Martin Smith, and Zaine Francis-Angol are all waiting for their first League Two starts for the club following their signings during the summer.

Head to Head
 
Walsall and Hartlepool have met on fifty-three previous occasions, and it's the Saddlers who hold a narrow head-to-head advantage, having won on eighteen occasions, compared to the Pools' seventeen.

There have also been eighteen draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began at Fellows Park on Saturday, 22nd October 1921 as the sides met in a Division Three (North) clash which Walsall won by three-goals-to-one.

The last four meeting have ended in draws, with the most recent taking place in front of some 3,065 fans at Victoria Park on Saturday, 23rd March 2013 and ended in a goalless draw.

Man in the Middle

The EFL has confirmed that Declan Bourne, who is based in Nottinghamshire, will be the man in the middle, whilst Garry Maskell and Darren Williams have been named assistant referees. Martin Coy will act as Fourth Official,

GAMES
3
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
10
0
PENALTIES
1

Catch the Match

You 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 an iFollow Walsall subscriber? There are a range of options 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 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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