The Saddlers welcome high flying Sunderland to the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow hoping to add them to the many league scalps we have had against former Premier League sides falling on hard times.
Should the Saddlers win this weekend we could go back into the top six if results go our way (yes I am still dreaming of it!)
Walsall boss Dean Keates has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game and will probably stick with the same team that was unlucky not to get all three points against Fleetwood last weekend.
Liam Kinsella looks set to partner George Dobson in the middle of the park – with Joe Edwards and Adam Chambers not far from a return.
Sunderland top scorer Josh Maja has lost his place in the starting 11 in recent weeks having picked up a small injury last month, but is now back in firm contention after coming off the bench to the score the equaliser last Saturday.
Returning from his second suspension of the campaign two weeks ago, Max Power could be in line for his first league start since October 6. Jon McLaughlin and Chris Maguire have featured in every game this season
LIKELY LINE UPS?
Walsall – Roberts, Devlin, Guthrie, Martin, Leahy, Ginnelly, Dobson, Kinsella, Ismail, Gordon, Cook
Sunderland – McLaughlin, Matthews, Flanagan, Baldwin, James, Honeyman, McGeouch, Gooch, Maguire, McGeady, Maja
ONES TO WATCH
ANDY COOK (WALSALL)
Cookie has scored sex goals so far this season in all competitions and is slowly showing what he is capable of.
He has been one of the bright sparks of the past few weeks.
JOSH MAJA (SUNDERLAND)
Maja has scored ten goals already this term – twice the amount of Saddlers top scorer Andy Cook.
Maja signed from Fulham in 2015 and joined Sunderland academy. He signed a three year deal and is gathering interest from many Premier League sides following his ten goals in just sixteen games.
Lynden Gooch is also one to watch having provided seven assists so far this term.
The Saddlers have faced Burton on just thirteen occasions – Walsall 3, Draw 2, Sunderland 8.
The last time both sides met in the league came in 2004 where Sunderland ran out 3-1 winners.
In our last five home games there have been twenty goals between both sides.
Our last five home games v Sunderland
03.03.04 – Walsall 1-3 Sunderland
21.09.99 – Walsall 0-5 Sunderland
08.10.88 – Walsall 2-0 Sunderland
05.09.87 – Walsall 2-2 Sunderland
09.03.63 – Walsall 2-3 Sunderland
REFREE – CRAIG HICKS
Linesmen – Kevin Morris and Steven Plane
Fourth Official – Ollie Yates
The man in the middle is Craig Hicks. His assistant referees are Kevin Morris and Steven Plane while Ollie Yates is the fourth official.
We more than often turn up for these big games and with a big crowd expected the lads will be hoping to get back to winning ways and prove to the rest of League 1 that we mean business.
I can see us leading before Sunderland grab one late on with someone like Andy Cook scoring in the final few minutes…stuff of dreams eh.
VITAL PREDICTION – WALSALL 2-1 SUNDERLAND
Tuesday 27th November
Sky Bet League 1
Portsmouth v Walsall