Match Preview: v Gillingham (A) Match Preview: v Gillingham (A)

Match Preview: v Gillingham (A)

Here is our look ahead to the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Gillingham.
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 Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium.

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

After failing to overcome relegation-threatened Sutton United last weekend, Walsall will be looking to secure their first win in three league games as they take on the Play-Off chasing Gills on Saturday afternoon.

Being dragged back to level terms as Donervon Daniels' opening goal of the season was cancelled out, the Saddlers really have to start to not only create but take their chances as their recent rise up the table has started to stall.

A lack of cutting edge, coupled with underperforming creative players, and a worryingly re-born injury curse, has seen points dropped and momentum dented, with recent performances being far from what we'd expect from a team that had won five in six just a few short weeks ago.

With the Winter Transfer Window now closed, the squad is set and, despite many fans hoping to see a right-wing-back added to the squad, we're not unhappy with the ins and outs.

Whilst the majority of new arrivals have been secured via the loan market, there is no denying the team is stronger on the opening week of February than it was just a month ago.

Head Coach Mat Sadler will have plenty of decisions to make for this weekend's match, not least whether to offer starts to some of his returning injury-hit players along with the odd new arrival.

WALSALL TEAM NEWS

Walsall have been dealt another injury blow as defender Harry Williams is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering a hip flexor injury.

Striker Danny Johnson is also absent after suffering a broken toe, whilst Oisin McEntee (hamstring) remains on the sidelines.

Aramide Oteh is in contention, as is Jamie Jellis, as he looks to return to fitness after suffering an injury during his final appearance for Tamworth.

OPPOSITION NEWS

Opponents Gillingham sit tenth in the table, two points below the Play-Off places and in search of a return to winning ways after narrowly losing to Milton Keynes Donas last weekend.

Gills Head Coach Stephen Clemence had a busy Transfer Deadline Day as he secured the loan signing of Watford forward Jorge Cabezas Hurtado along with the permanent signing of striker Josh Andrews from Birningham City.

FORM IN FIVE

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

GILLINGHAM
WALSALL
WWWDL
WWWLD

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Saddlers and Gills have met on 179 occasions, and it's all-square between the two sides with forty-seven wins apiece.

There have also been twenty-five draws between the two sides, with their first meeting taking place on Saturday, 24th September 1927 as they met in a Division Three (South) match which was played in front of some 6,923 Fellows Park fans, and ended in a 7-4 win for the Saddlers.

THE LAST TIME WE MET

The most recent meeting took place at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday, 14th October 2023 and saw the Saddlers ease to victory by four goals to one.

Walsall went into the lead with thirty-four minutes on the clock as Isaac Hutchinson grabbed his fourth goal of the season with a well-taken effort from the edge of the area.

The Saddlers doubled their lead five-minutes later as on-loan Lincoln City man Freddie Draper added to his tally following some interplay with Hutchinson, who continued to have an impact upon proceedings.

Isaac Hutchinson's reign of terror continued in the second half as he grabbed his second and the Saddlers' third with a low ball into the bottom corner.

Gillingham were able to keep themselves in the game shortly after Hutchinson's second as Macauley Bonne slammed the ball home on the rebound after an initial effort was blocked.

Walsall remained focused and went on to grab a fourth goal five-minutes from time as Isaac Hutchinson completed his hat-trick to double his tally for the season in just one game.

MATCH OFFICIALS

The EFL has confirmed that Charles Breakspear who is based in Surrey, will be the man in the middle, whilst Scott Williams and Damith Bandara have been named assistant referees. Jonathon Block will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
OFFICIATED
21
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
102
7
PENALTIES
AWARDED
11

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.
Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Walsall FC news and views across social media, we're on đť•Ź, Facebook, Threads, and Instagram. We also offer updates via Google News.
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