Anyone not looking forward to this one? Us neither.
A defeat on Saturday with other results going against us could see us two results behind the chasing pack with five games remaining. This Saturday’s game against Oxford is one of the most important games in modern history.
We CANNOT lose this game and many are describing it as a MUST WIN!
Here is the standings going into Saturdays game along with who each side are facing….
Matt Jarvis told WM this week he was over his injury and should be in contention for this weekends game.
Maz Kouhyar joins Adam Chambers and Kory Roberts on the physio table following his ruptured ACL this week.
Keates will have to decide whether to stick with Josh Gordon or bring Andy Cook back into the side.
Oxford will be without long term injuries Shandon Baptiste, Rob Hall and Jon Obika.
Northern Ireland international winger Gavin Whyte is back in training and could feature.
LIKELY LINE UPS?
Walsall – Roberts, Devlin, Scarr, Guthrie, Leahy, Ismail, Kinsella, Edwards, Blackett-Taylor, Gordon, Cook
Oxford– Eastwood, Long, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels, Brannagan, Kashi, Browne, Henry, Whyte, Mackie
ONES TO WATCH
JOSH GORDON (WALSALL)
Gordon has scored four goals in his last seven games for the Saddlers and is starting to prove his worth since moving from Leicester during the summer.
JAMES HENRY (OXFORD)
Winger Henry has scored twelve goals and assisted six goals so far this season. Leahy will have to pay close attention to the former Wolves man this weekend.
- Walsall have lost eleven out our last fifteen league games.
- Walsall have won two of our last four home games.
- Walsall are unbeaten in our last four home games against Oxford.
- Oxford have won their last three games
- Oxford have conceded just two goals in their last five games.
- Oxford have conceded just one goal in their last four away games.
- Form (last five) – Walsall – LLLLW Oxford – WWWDL
The Saddlers and Oxford have met on thirty-three occasions – Walsall 9, Draw 8, Oxford 16
The Saddlers are undefeated in the last four home games against Oxford
The last time both sides met we won 2-1 thanks to goals from Morgan Ferrier and Zeli Ismail.
Our last five home games v Oxford
13.01.18 – Walsall 2-1 Oxford
08.04.17 – Walsall 1-1 Oxford
29.08.00 – Walsall 3-2 Oxford
12.09.95 – Walsall 2-2 Oxford
26.12.88 – Walsall 1-5 Oxford
REFEREE: DAVID WEBB
Assistants: Nick Hopton and Michael George
“Match Observer” Russell Booth
Fourth Official: Ollie Yates
The Saddlers need all the luck they can at the minute however this weekend David Webb from County Durham officiates our game against Oxford and it does not make good reading.
Keates has recently questioned the ability of referees in the Football League and given the past history between Webb and Walsall you would expect another rant on Saturday evening.
Webb has officiated fourteen games involving the Saddlers over the past ten years and the Saddlers have lost seven of them.
Of the fourteen games the Saddlers have picked up just two wins – both of which came away from the Banks’s Stadium.
Webb has also awarded four penalties to the opposition (Huddersfield, Bristol City, Swindon) and sent off two Walsall players during his career (Mark Hughes and Mat Sadler)
Of the six home games where Webb has officiated the Saddlers have lost four of them – our most recent being the 4-1 home defeat to Swindon Town in 2014.
WE NEED TO WIN! WE CANNOT LOSE! – Sorry for the capitals but this game has so much importance to whether we are in League 1 or League 2 next term.
Four defeats on the trot against clubs pushing for promotion isn’t the end of the world but a defeat on Saturday and the fat lady will start to clear her throat.
I think we will turn up for this one and win – giving us a chance for the run in.
VITAL PREDICTION – WALSALL 2-1 OXFORD
Saturday 13th April
Sky Bet League 1
Accrington Stanley v WALSALL