Match Preview: v Hartlepool United (H) Match Preview: v Hartlepool United (H)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Preview: v Hartlepool United (H)

Here we take a look ahead to Saturday's League Two meeting between the Saddlers and 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

After suffering a disappointing five-nil defeat at the hands of Swindon Town in midweek, Michael Flynn's Saddlers look to return to winning ways as they welcome Hartlepool United to the Banks's this weekend.

Despite going into the match in the back of two confidence-building victories over the top two, Tuesday's smashing in Swindon gave us all a stark reminder of the fragility of the current backline as they simply couldn't cope with the Robins' rampant attack.

Pulled from pillar to post, our back three have it all to do if they are to regain the trust of the recently-appointed gaffer as he looks to steady the ship ahead of another summer of change in WS1.

Opponents Hartlepool have enjoyed a promising spell of games, which sees them on an eight-game unbeaten run, including a midweek win over Colchester United, a result which saw them retain their place in the top-half of the table.

Back to the Saddlers, and they will be without midfielder Alfie Bates as the academy graduate recently completed a move to Finnish side SJK Seinajoki, with the 20-year-old opting to back himself to earn a regular starting role rather than watching from the sidelines.

Head to Head

Walsall and Hartlepool have met on fifty-four previous occasions, and it's all-square between the two sides, with eighteen wins apiece.

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.

Four of the last five meetings have ended in draws, with the most clash taking place at Victoria Park in August 2021 and seeing the Pools win by two-goals-to-nil as goals from Tyler Burey and Nicky Featherstone, the former Saddler slipping the ball home from the penalty spot.

Man in the Middle

The EFL has confirmed that Lee Swabey, who is based in Devon, will be the man in the middle, whilst Hristo Karaivanov and Billy Smallwood have been named assistant referees. Oliver Bickle will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
22
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
53
2
PENALTIES
5

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.

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