Match Preview: v AFC Wimbledon (A) Match Preview: v AFC Wimbledon (A)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Preview: v AFC Wimbledon (A)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' season-ending meeting with the Dons.
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 Walsall make their way to the Cherry Red Records Stadium and take on AFC Wimbledon.

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

Walsall's hopes of making the League Two Play-Offs were dealt a huge blow at the weekend as, despite goals from Ryan Stirk and Mo Fall giving them a two-goal lead, visitors Bradford City bounced back to secure all three points.

With a bumper crowd in attendance, and a glimmer of hope in the air, the Saddlers once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and made the same mistakes we've seen throughout not only this season, but many that have come before.

Though there remains a small chance the Reds can still make the top seven, the result and performance was simply unacceptable. Defensive errors, a flaccid frontline and a complete inability to stop shooting themselves in the foot, some of the current crop have plenty of work ahead if they are to secure another season in WS1.

WALSALL TEAM NEWS

There remain a few players on the Saddlers' injury table with Harry Williams, Oisin McEntee, and Aramide Oteh just a few of the players currently battling their way back from injury.

OPPOSITION NEWS

As with the Saddlers, Wimbledon also suffered a 3-2 defeat at the weekend as Tranmere Rovers triumphed on their way to ending the Dons' slim hopes of making the Play-Offs.

Despite having nothing in terms of promotion or relegation to play for, there is no doubt they'll be more than up for ensuring the Saddlers don't stand any chance of making the leap into the top seven at the weekend.

TRIBUTES

AFC Wimbledon have asked supporters to take part in a minute's applause as they remember the life of former Dons boss Joe Kinnear who recently passed away.

Fans are also encouraged to make plenty of noise during the 8th minute as we remember Saddlers supporter Verity Sheldon, who also recently passed away.
FORM IN FIVE

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

WIMBLEDON
WALSALL
DLWLL
WLLWL

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Saddlers and Dons have met on just nine previous occasions, and it's Wimbledon that hod a small head-to-head advantage winning five, one more than Walsall's four.

The first meeting took place at Bescot Stadium on Saturday, 6th August 2016, and saw Walsall win by three-goals-to-one as Erhun ร–ztรผmer and Simeon Jackson, who netted a brace, got their names on the scoresheet.

Wimbledon's goal came via the penalty spot as Lyle Taylor slipped the ball past Neil Etheridge from the spot in the last minute of normal time.

THE LAST TIME WE MET

The most recent meeting was played out at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday, 23rd September 2023, and saw the visiting Dons secure all three points with a 3-1 win.

The first goal of the game went the way of the visiting Dons as Connor Lemonheigh-Evans put the ball beyond Owen Evans after six-minutes of first-half action.

The Saddlers were reduced to ten men in the first-half, but they didn't let that hold them back as, shortly after Owen Evans had saved an Armani Little penalty, Freddie Draper went up the other end and levelled the scores.

Sadly, parity was only held for a few minutes as Jack Currie put the Dons back into the lead shortly after the hour mark as, with seven minutes of the second-half remaining, Ali Al-Hamadi added to his earlier assist to give the ten-man Saddlers a huge mountain to climb.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Scott Oldham who is based in Lancashire, will be the man in the middle, whilst Andy Bennett and Paul Kelly have been named assistant referees. Carl Brook will act as Fourth Official.

Mr Oldham took charge of the Saddlers' 2-1 away defeat to Accrington Stanley back in December and saw fit to award Walsall a penalty, that Freddie Draper was only to happy to take advantage of.

Despite the spot kick, Oldham only produced one booking, with Stanley midfielder Ben Woods shown the yellow card.

GAMES
OFFICIATED
39
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
114
8
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? 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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