Right here we go folks, no more talking and no more hiding – this is it.
Failure to beat Northampton at The Banks’s Stadium tomorrow will leave our survival hopes resting on results elsewhere and will put more pressure on the lads to grab something at Bradford or Fleetwood. A victory tomorrow followed with an Oldham defeat will leave the Latics needing at least six goal swing in our final two games. A Northampton victory will put the Cobblers within touching distance going into the final day.
Saddlers Team News
Walsall have no fresh injury worries ahead of tomorrows game with the only absentees Joe Edwards and Krystian Bielik (what a waste of a loan signing)
Northampton Team News
Northampton have no fresh injury worries.
“It should be a great game. It’s probably going to be nervy. We need to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and impose ourselves on it. If we do we will get the points.”
Walsall boss Dean Keates
“They may come with an attitude to perhaps not over-excel themselves in the attacking sense, so as to not get beat and keep us behind them, but I think it’s a dangerous game to play”
Northampton boss Dean Austin
Northampton Player To Watch – Richard O’Donnell
Richard O’Donnell needs no introduction to the Saddlers faithful following his outstanding performances between 2013 and 2015. O’Donnell won Player Of The Year Award at the end of the 2014-15 season. O’Donnell became the first keeper in our history to wear the famous number one jersey on the Wembley turf in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final against Bristol City. O’Donnell played ninety times for the Saddlers – the most appearances hes made for any club during his career.
O’Donnell on his day is one of the best shot stoppers outside the Premier League, with our inability to make many chances we have got to hope O’Donnell has an off day – it doesn’t fill us with confidence.
Head To Head
Both sides have faced each other eighty one times in our history. Walsall 33, Northampton 32, Draw 16.
The last time both sides met at The Banks’s Stadium was in February last year where the Saddlers were victorious 2-1 thanks to goals from Matt Preston and Erhun Oztumer.
Northampton have lost eight of their last twelve against the Saddlers.
Walsall have only lost once against Northampton at home since 1997 – this came in 2008 where Akinfenwa scored a brace.
Form (Last 10 games, most recent far right)
Northampton – DDLDLLLLWW
Walsall – LWLLLLWDLL
Referee – Sebastian Stockbridge
Linesmen – Kevin Morris and Matthew Jones
Fourth Official – Akil Howson
Sebastian Stockbridge has officiated thirty-nine games this season, dishing out one hundred and thirty-nine yellow cards, six red cards and has awarded eight penalties.
Stockbridge has officiated six Walsall games in the past four years with the Saddlers yet to win – drawing four and losing two.
The most recent game was our 1-1 home draw with Peterborough United earlier this season.
Stockbridge sent Sam Mantom off during our 2-1 defeat to Preston North End in 2014.
Vital Walsall Prediction
We have to win surely? This season has been such a disappointment so i’m hoping the players will give us something to cheer about and allow us to head to Bradford and Fleetwood with safety all but secured – however this is Walsall and we love to do things the hard way!
Walsall 1-1 Northampton
Dont forget its #RedDay tomorrow so wear as much red as you can and cheer the lads onto a much needed three points!