Match Preview: v West Ham United U21s (H) Match Preview: v West Ham United U21s (H)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Preview: v West Ham United U21s (H)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' Papa John's Trophy meeting with West Ham United U21s.
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 take on the Hammers in their first EFL Trophy outing of the season.


After such a promising start to the new campaign - Michael Flynn's side winning their first three all-competition games - the Reds have since struggled for form and go into the game winless in five and in dire need of a complete performance.

Despite failing to win in five the Reds have had their moments and really should have taken something from at least a couple of their recent winless outings.

Saturday's defeat to Grimsby Town serves as a great example of the Saddlers' current plight as, despite enjoying lengthy spells on top, the Boys from the Bescot did what they do best and went on to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as a second-half brace cancelled out Danny Johnson's fifth-minute opener.

Whilst the current competition which masquerades as the EFL Trophy may not be everybody's cup of tea - the inclusion of so-called elite teams continues to taint a tournament which almost gave us the best Saddlers memory in recent years - it does serve as a good opportunity to secure a confidence-boosting win.

With the gaffer unable to fully rotate his squad thanks to a combination of injuries and daft competition rules, we're likely to see a team not too dissimilar to the one which slipped to the Mariners, with some of the fringe players thrown in for good measure.

Obviously, the young Hammers aren't a team to be dismissed, especially with our current run of form clear for all to see, we still expect the team to put on a show, not least to prove a point following such a sloppy spell of form.


The EFL has confirmed that Simon Mather, who is based in Lancashire, will be the man in the middle as the Saddlers welcome the Hammers U21s to WS1 on Tuesday evening.

We also know that Andy Bennett and Marc Wilson have been named assistant referees, whilst Paul Stonier will act as Fourth Official.



If you're not planning on going to the game you can catch the match via the club's in-house service - iFollow Walsall - which takes you through the highs and lows of every Saddlers game.

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