The Saddlers travel to Gigg Lane on Saturday to take on Lee Clark’s big spending Bury.
The Shakers have seemingly recruited well over the Summer, signing a number of experienced League One players.
Jon Whitney has been much more cautious in his transfer activity, with just 5 new signings – all of whom are defensive players.
Bury Team News:
Eoghan O’Connell and Phil Edwards are likely absentees, with Danny Mayor and Nathan Cameron also set to miss out.
Player to watch: Jermaine Beckford
The 33 year old striker has a prolific record at this level and will be central to Bury’s chances this season. With Chris Maguire and Jay O’Shea supplying the chances, Beckford will have plenty of opportunities to hit the back of the net.
The Shakers are likely to field a completley different line-up to one the Saddlers faced in January 2017, and it will be interesting to see how quickly they gel.
Walsall Team News:
New signing Nicky Devlin will miss the game after his suspension, triggered in his last game for Ayr United, carries over from last season. Liam Kinsella is likely to deputise in that right-back berth.
James O’Connor is not expected to feature after being very publically shunned by Whitney last week.
The rest of the side almost picks itself, which highlights the desperate lack of depth in the squad.
Player to watch: Erhun Oztumer
Obviously. Oztumer scored twice against Bury last season, both home and away.
In what is a very functional Walsall side, Oztumer is the only real stand-out flair player in the squad. Unfortunately for him, he’ll most likely have Simeon Jackson on the end of his creative work…
Match Facts & Stats
The last few fixtures between the sides have been goal-fests.
The two meetings last season both finished 3-3 with incredible comebacks in each game, whilst in January 2016 the Saddlers came out 3-2 winners at Gigg Lane.
2-0 Bury. Can see us holding out for a while but our inability to retain possession and offer a credible attacking threat will be our undoing.
Beckford and Maguire on the scoresheet for Bury.