We return home this weekend as we hope to maintain our unbeaten start to the season as we face Doncaster Rovers at the Banks’s Stadium.
The Saddlers are yet to taste defeat in the league this season and have lost just one home game in our last six league games (W5 L1)
Walsall boss Dean Keates has a selection headache as he must decide whether to start Andy Cook up front again after dropping him for last Saturday’s draw at Barnsley – although he did come off the bench to grab the equaliser.
Connan Ronan will also be hoping to start again following his impressive displays against Burton and Barnsley although if one is dropped from the central midfield role it will be Ronan to make way for Cook.
Zeli Ismail is back training so it will be interesting to see whether he comes in for Josh Gordon.
The arrival of Doncaster means the arrival of arguably our best centre half in the past decade as Andy Butler returns.
Rovers will travel to the Bescot Stadium without the services of skipper Tommy Rowe. He suffered a hamstring injury during a recent Checkatrade Trophy match and McCann confirmed that Rowe will be on the sidelines for up to ten weeks
LIKELY LINE UPS?
Walsall – Roberts, Devlin, Guthrie, Fitzwater, Leahy, Ismail, Dobson, Osbourne, Ginnelly, Cook, Ferrier
Doncaster – Marosi, Mason, Wright, Butler, Andrew, Blair, Whiteman, Kane, Wilks, Marquis, Coppinger
ANDY COOK (WALSALL)
His goal from open play against Barnsley will do his confidence the world of good. Cook does alot of the dirty work allowing Ferrier to do his bit so if he can take Butler out the game on Saturday i’m sure Ferrier will exploit the space.
ANDY BUTLER (DONCASTER)
Who put the ball in the Dingles net?…..Andy Butler returns to the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday as he leads out his Doncaster team. Butler picked up four yellow cards in his first four games for Doncaster this season but is yet to pick up another booking for seven games (cup included) so hes due one….Cook v Butler dual is what we all pay our money for.
We all know how lethal Butler can be from set pieces so he will need to be man marked on Saturday.
The Saddlers have faced Doncaster on sixty-two occasions. Walsall 32, Draw 9, Doncaster 21.
The last time the two sides met came in February where the Saddlers won 4-2 at the Banks’s Stadium thanks to goals from Morris, Bakayoko and a brace from Joe Edwards.
Doncaster have lost their last seven games against the Saddlers.
Our last five home games v Doncaster
13.02.18 – Walsall 4-2 Doncaster
12.09.15 – Walsall 2-0 Doncaster
27.09.14 – Walsall 3-0 Doncaster
18.08.12 – Walsall 0-3 Doncaster
01.01.08 – Walsall 1-1 Doncaster
REFEREE – Anthony Coggins (Oxfordshire)
Linesmen – Andrew Hendley and Robert Atkin
Fourth Official – Marvyn Amphlett
So far this season Coggins has officiated six games – dishing out twenty four yellow cards, one red card and awarded one penalty.
Coggins is set to officiate his first game involving the Saddlers after making his step up from non-league last season.
Given our form against Doncaster and given we are still unbeaten I think the Saddlers will romp to victory – despite Doncaster having a good start to the season.
We enjoy playing Doncaster and this momentum train shows no sign of stopping just yet.
VITAL PREDICTION – Walsall 3-0 Doncaster
Saturday 22nd September (15:00)
Sky Bet League 1
Oxford v WALSALL