Date: 7th August 2014 at 3:46pm
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We are finally here folks! A new season, a new start for many and we have optimism and pessimism for the new campaign….but thats the joy of football!

Vital Quotes:

Smith ‘”They have Tom Pope up there but he is not someone we have not played against before,” added Smith.

“It does not bother me at all, whether it` s James Chambers who plays centre-half – and we are forgetting Dean Holden, who didn`t play at all last season, who has been fantastic in pre-season.

“He came back really fit and will be pushing for a place.

“But if it is to be James, he looks like he can play there with his eyes closed – he looks like he has been playing there all his life.”

Port Vale Team News:

Home Team news will appear here shortly….

Player to watch: Tom Pope

The aerial threat of Tom Pope will cause the newly form defence a lot of problems. Keep him quiet and we will have a chance.

Pope scored twelve goals last term.

Walsall Team News:

Walsall will be without the injured trio Jordan Cook, Sam Mantom and Ben Purkiss.

Smith will name new signings Craig MacGillivray, James O’Connor, Ashley Grimes and Tom Bradshaw in his squad.

Player to watch: Tom Bradshaw

Tom scored a goal for Shrewsbury against Crewe last year so a new face in the Walsall front line deserves to be our player to watch this weekend!

Match Facts & Stats

In the last eight trips to Vale Park, Walsall have won just once – a 2-1 victory in the Capital One Cup last season.

Walsall lost both League games last season against Vale and failed to score.

Walsall’s last victory in the league at Vale Park came in 2001 where goals from Don Goodman and Andy Tilson settled the match.

Ref Watch:

Mr D Bond from Lancashire will be the man in the middle.

Bond sent off Meppen-Walter for Carlisle in the last Walsall game he officiated. Walsall won the match 2-0.

In twenty-four games he officiated last season, Bond sent off four players and gave four penalties.

Match Prediction:

Who knows what to expect from opening day…given our poor record at Vale and are inability to stop teams scoring, I will hope we rectified our lack of goals and score at least one.

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Next Fixtures:

12.08.14 – Port Vale v Hartlepool
12.08.14 = Southend v Walsall