Date: 30th August 2018 at 10:03am
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Following our disappointing exit to Macclesfield in the League Cup we return to league action this weekend hoping that the players come back with a bang as we entertain struggling Blackpool.

Blackpool have been known for their off the field issues in recent years and that continued this season with the bizarre resignation of manager Gary Bowyer. Blackpool still have caretaker manager Terry McPhillips in charge – despite their off the field issues Blackpool are currently undefeated in four games.

TEAM NEWS

Walsall

Walsall boss Dean Keates will shuffle his pack from the side which lost at Macclesfield on Tuesday night. Liam Roberts, Nicky Devlin, Isaiah Osbourne, Josh Ginnelly, Zeli Ismail and Morgan Ferrier likely to return to the side.

Blackpool

Blackpool have no fresh injury worries and look set to start the same team that got a point against Accrington last weekend.

LIKELY LINE UPS?

Walsall – Roberts, Devlin, Guthrie, Fitzwater, Leahy, Ismail, Dobson, Osbourne, Ginnelly, Cook, Ferrier

Blackpool – Howard, Nottingham, Heneghan, O’Connor, Bola, Turton, Spearing, Thompson, Dodoo, Delfouneso, Cullen

DANGERMEN

GEORGE DOBSON (WALSALL)

You can count on one hand how many bad games George Dobson has for the Saddlers and truth be told he hasnt had one bad game so far this season. Dobson has been instrumental in our fantastic start to the season.

NATHAN DELFOUNESO (BLACKPOOL)

The former Aston Villa striker needs no introduction as he has faced us on three occasions and scored two goals. He scored the last time both sides met during our 2-2 draw at Bloomfield Road last season. Delfouneso scored his first goal of the season during the 1-1 draw with Accrington last weekend.

PAST MEETINGS

The Saddlers have faced Blackpool forty-four times in our history. Walsall 19, Draw 10, Blackpool 15.

The last time both sides met at the Banks’s Stadium – a goal from Erhun Oztumer and Solomon-Otabor ensured both sides went home with a point.

The Saddlers have not lost a home game against Blackpool since 1980 – sixteen games we have remained unbeaten at home against the Seasiders – P16 W9 D7 L0 F30 A17

Our last four home games v Blackpool

14.10.17 – Walsall 1-1 Blackpool

23.01.16 – Walsall 1-1 Blackpool

31.12.05 – Walsall 2-0 Blackpool

18.12.04 – Walsall 3-2 Blackpool

17.10.98 – Walsall 1-0 Blackpool

MATCH OFFICIALS

REFEREE  – LEE SWABEY

Linesmen – Danny Gratton and Steve Plane

Fourth Official – Ravel Cheosiaua

Swabey has officiated four games so far this season, dishing out fourteen yellow cards, one red card and just awarding one penalty.

The last game Swabey officiated involving the Saddlers was our 2-1 defeat against Peterborough last season – yes it was that game where the pitch was covered in so much snow that the players had to help clear the pitch so the game could continue.

MATCH PREDICTION

The Saddlers have a chance to put more daylight between themselves and the pack just outside the play offs this weekend with a victory over Blackpool. We expect the side to come back fighting after the disappointing League Cup exit and grab another victory. We are conceding silly late goals so I expect it to continue as we make lives harder for ourselves.

VITAL PREDICTION – Walsall 2-1 Blackpool

UP NEXT

Tuesday 4th September (19:45)

Checkatrade Trophy

Burton v WALSALL

 

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