FA Cup Preview: v Southampton (A) FA Cup Preview: v Southampton (A)

FA Cup Preview: v Southampton (A)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' FA Cup clash with Southampton.
Walsall are back in action this weekend as they make the lengthy trip to St Mary's Stadium where they'll take on Sky Bet Championship side Southampton in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

After opening the New Year with a comfortable 6-1 thrashing of Grimsby Town, the Saddlers will be in good spirits heading into their pressure-free clash with Russell Martin's promotion-chasing Saints on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Douglas James-Taylor, Isaac Hutchinson - who netted a brace - Jack Earing, Priestley Farquharson, and Danny Johnson saw Walsall record their biggest victory of the season, moving into the top-half of the table in the process.

Whilst this weekend's game will have no bearing upon their league status, the Saddlers would love to be able to take their recent spell of form into the cup and secure their place in the Fourth Round of the competition.

With injury issues continuing to play their part, the gaffer may well opt to offer a few of his fringe players a place in the starting eleven, although, so far, he doesn't seem to be a manager keen on chopping and changing his team.

Whatever takes place this weekend, the Saddlers have plenty of reasons to take confidence into the match, and are more than capable of getting causing something of an upset and continuing their rather unexpected cup journey.

WALSALL TEAM NEWS

Walsall could hand a debut to Norwich City defender Emmanuel Adegboyega, the former Drogheda United youngster who joined the club on Thursday afternoon, adds yet more height to the Saddlers' backline.

Aramide Oteh recently stepped up his return from a lengthy lay-off as he took part in training on grass at the club's Essington Training Ground, though he Is very unlikely to feature.

Oisin McEntee is expected to miss the next three months of action, Harry Williams is suffering from an abdominal issue, whilst Jamille Matt is struggling with a groin strain.

OPPOSITION NEWS

Southampton are in superb form with the Saints last suffering defeat in late September, after which they've gone some eighteen league games without defeat.

Reaching this weekend's match on the back of a 1-1 draw with Norwich City, Russell Martin's side are unsurprisingly heavy favourites with the bookmakers, though this wouldn't;t be the first time Walsall have upset the odds.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

There have been twenty competitive meetings between Walsall and Southampton, and it's the Saints that hold a comfortable head-to-head lead having won eleven times compared to the Saddlers' three.

There have been six draws between the two sides, with the first meeting, which was also an FA Cup Third Round clash, taking place in front of more than 14,000 fans at Fellows Park on Saturday, 12th January 1935.

Finishing 2-1 to the visitors, Southampton went on to lose three-nil to Birmingham City in the next round.

THE LAST TIME WE MET

The last time Walsall faced Southampton was a League One match that took place at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday, 7th May 2011 and saw the Saints record a 3-1 victory as goals from Guly Do Prado, David Connolly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cancelled out Julian Gray's effort on the stroke of half time.

MATCH OFFICIALS

The Football Association has confirmed that David Webb who is based in Lancashire, will be the man in the middle, whilst Rob Smith and Hugh Gilroy have been named assistant referees. Darren Drysdale will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
OFFICIATED
18
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
72
1
PENALTIES
AWARDED
1

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? There are a range of options 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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