We make the long trip down to Kent this weekend as we face a resurgent Gillingham side since the arrival of Steve Lovell. The Saddlers are also on a bit of a run so it will be an interesting afternoon for sure.
‘Steve has turned things around. They are on an incredible run.
“They are probably the in-form team at the moment. But that`s good for us.
“They are only four points ahead of us and we are looking to peg them back.
“They change formations, they are happy to play different ways. They are in a confident, buoyant mood but so are we.”
Gillingham Team News:
Lee Martin is fit again, as is Scott Wagstaff but defender Alex Lacey (ankle) is still a couple of weeks away from a returning.
Player to watch: Tom Eaves
Eaves has suffered an indifferent career since he turned pro in 2009 but after playing for nine clubs (6 on loan) he has finally become prolific at Gillingham.
Eaves signed on a free transfer from Yeovil in the summer and has gone on to score thirteen goals for the Gills this season, he has scored five goals in the last seven games which has seen the Gills shoot up the League 1 table.
Walsall Team News:
Saddlers have no fresh injury worries but boss Jon Whitney will have to decide whether to stick with on loan front man Justin Shaibu following his impressive game against Doncaster or bring back Amadou Bakayoko who scored in that game after coming on as sub.
Player to watch: Joe Edwards
Like Eaves, Edwards is enjoying a good spell in front of goal having scored five in his last eight games for the Saddlers. More recently scoring four in his last four games.
Match Facts & Stats
The Saddlers and Gills have met one hundred and thirteen times in our history, with Gillingham winning forty seven, twenty three draws with the Walsall winning forty three of them.
The last time these sides met at the Priestfield Stadium the game ended 1-1 with now Gills midfielder Franck Moussa scoring for the Saddlers.
Gillingham have won five out their last seven games.
Walsall have won three out their last seven games but have not lost in three.
Gills have the upper hand in this winning the last two games where these sides have met – a 1-0 victory at the Banks’s Stadium in November thanks to a Connor Wilkinson goal on the stroke of half time and a 2-1 victory at The Banks’s Stadium in November 2016 thanks to goals from McDonald and Jay Emmanuel Thomas.
Referee – Kevin Johnson
Linesmen – Michael Webb and Sam Lewis
Fourth Official: Christopher Kidd
Kevin Johnson (Weston Super Mare) has officiated twenty seven games this season and has dished out eighty yellow cards, nine red cards and awarded three penalties.
Johnson was the official when the Saddlers lost 1-0 at Plymouth Argyle on New Years Day and Johnson was also the referee when the Saddlers defeated Doncaster 3-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium earlier this season.
We have a few friends that are Gills fans so it would be nice to have bragging rights until next season but more importantly another victory will see the Saddlers stretch the gap further between themselves and the relegation places…..that said with Gills current form and our woeful away form, if you was a betting man you would go for a home win.
Vital prediction – Gillingham 2-1 Walsall
24.02.18 – Walsall v Blackburn