Match Preview: v Crewe Alexandra (H) Match Preview: v Crewe Alexandra (H)

Match Preview: v Crewe Alexandra (H)

Here we look ahead to the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Crewe Alexandra.
Walsall are back in action on Boxing Day when they welcome Crewe Alexandra to Poundland Bescot Stadium for their latest outing of the 2023/24 League Two campaign.

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

Following Saturday's disappointing defeat to Accrington Stanley, it's quickly back to action for the Saddlers as they look to return to winning ways and restart their steady climb towards the top half of the table.

Head Coach Mat Sadler has plenty of work ahead of him if he is to get his players ready for the visit of one of the teams aiming to secure promotion when we reach the business end of the season in April.

Despite Saturday's defeat being their first in four all-competition outings, the Saddlers' hopes of making it into the top half before 2023 becomes 2024 were dealt a blow, as Walsall whimpered to defeat.

Freddie Draper's latest goal in a Saddlers shirt was mere consolation during an afternoon where the team simply failed to turn up, with the scoreline somewhat flattering a team that secured just one shot on target.

Clearly, some days just don't go to plan, and a return to winning ways on Boxing Day will go a long way to settling some nerves, but it's a little worrying to see the team still occasionally incapable of stringing together anything noteworthy over the course of ninety-minutes.

WALSALL TEAM NEWS

With the usual suspects remaining sidelined, there was a bit of an injury scare on Saturday as on-loan Stoke City defender David Okagbue was forced off through injury, with recent returnee Jack Earing taking his place.

OPPOSITION NEWS

Opponents Crewe Alexandra have enjoyed an extra day's rest as they were in action on Friday evening, though it has been far from a happy break for the Railwaymen as they slipped to defeat away to Barrow, a result that puts Crewe on the backfoot in their race to secure automatic promotion.

FORM IN FIVE

Here is how the Saddlers and their opponents Crewe Alexandra have fared in their last five Sky Bet League Two games.

WALSALL
CREWE ALEXANDRA
DLWWL
WDLDL

HEAD-TO-HEAD

There have been seventy-seven competitive meetings between Walsall and Crewe Alexandra, and it's the Saddlers who hold an overall Head-to-Head lead, having won on thirty-one occasions, compared to Alex's twenty-five, whilst the spoils have been shared on some twenty-one previous occasions.

Their first meeting was a League Division Two match which took place at the Alexandra Recreation Ground on Saturday, 5th November 1892, and saw the sides engage in a goal-fest which Walsall Town Swifts won by six-goals-to-five.

Walsall would remain undefeated for the next six meetings between the two, with Crewe's first win not arriving until Saturday, 22nd April 1922 as they won two-nil at the original Gresty Road.

THE LAST TIME WE MET

The most recent meeting took place at Gresty Road on Saturday, 19th August 2023, and saw the spoils shared as the Railwaymen and Saddlers played out a two-all draw.

Goals from Freddie Draper and Isaac Hutchinson had given the Saddlers a two-goals lead, but efforts from Elliott Nevitt and Jack Powell saw the home side snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.

MATCH OFFICIALS

The EFL has confirmed that Scott Jackson who is based on Merseyside, will be the man in the middle, whilst Danny Grafton and Alex Gray have been named assistant referees. Stuart Kane will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
OFFICIATED
17
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
75
1
PENALTIES
AWARDED
5

CATCH THE MATCH

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.

Not an iFollow Walsall subscriber? A range of options are available, including monthly, annual, and gift subscriptions. For further information on the service, or to set up your subscription, click HERE.
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