We are on the road again this weekend as we travel to Rochdale aiming to continue our fantastic start to the season.
Rochdale have conceded four goals in their last two home games, their fans are criticising their manager, their players are being heckled and their CEO resigned…you know what normally happens right? However this Walsall side has a fresh positive mentality and will be going there hoping to heap more misery on the Dale.
Rochdale are sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Josh Lillis. Hill substituted their keeper just after the hour mark following an injury. Keith Hill will look to change things following their 4-0 home defeat last week.
Walsall boss Dean Keates must decide whether to stick with the same team that won 3-1 at Wimbledon this week or will Zeli Ismail get the nod ahead of Morris?
Long term absentees Joe Edwards (ACL) and Kory Roberts (broken leg) are missing until 2019.
LIKELY LINE UPS?
Walsall – L.Roberts, Devlin, Guthrie, Fitzwater, Leahy, Morris, Dobson, Osbourne, Ginnelly, Cook, Ferrier
Rochdale – Norman, Cannon, McGahey, McNulty, Delaney, Inman, Williams, Perkins, Andrew, Henderson
MORGAN FERRIER (WALSALL)
Feel like a broken record picking Morgan every week but he is the player that every defence needs to worry about. Although he had a quieter game than normal at Wimbledon in the week it was still clear to see the problems he was causing. Ferrier has scored two goals for the Saddlers since arriving from Boreham Wood for £35,000.
IAN HENDERSON (ROCHDALE)
If there was one player I would have signed from another League 1 side it would be Ian Henderson. He has always proved difficult to deal with when we have faced him, so much so he has scored three goals in his last six games against the Saddlers. Henderson has already scored three goals this season and despite being thirty three it would seem there is still a lot of footballing life left in him. He has scored eighty four goals in two hundred and forty-three appearances for Dale.
Surprisingly the Saddlers have only faced Rochdale on sixty three occasions (feels like more doesn’t it) – Walsall 22, Drawn 16, Rochdale 25
The Saddlers don’t have a good record recently against Rochdale, losing four of our last five games against them both home and away. Although the Saddlers have won two of the last five visits to Spotland.
Our last five away games v Rochdale
23.12.17 – Rochdale 1-1 Walsall
22.11.16 – Rochdale 4-0 Walsall
18.08.15 – Rochdale 1-2 Walsall
07.10.14 – Rochdale 0-1 Walsall
16.09.14 – Rochdale 4-0 Walsall
Referee – Graham Salisbury
Linespeople – Barry Cropp and Helen Byrne
Fourth Official – Anthony Moore
Graham Salisbury has officiated four games this season and has already brandished one red card and two penalties GULP.
Last season Salisbury officiated thirty seven games and dished out one hundred and forty six yellow cards and thirteen reds.
Salisbury officiated two Walsall games last season, our 1-1 home draw with Shrewsbury and our 2-1 home defeat to Rotherham.
Five games into the season and we have already correctly predicted three scores…no pressure Vital! I am currently going into every game thinking we can genuinely win and why shouldn’t we? With all the problems Rochdale have on and off the pitch is just the right time for us to play a side we don’t often do well against. We have Dean Keates in charge and I fully expect another committed performance and victory!
VITAL PREDICTION – Rochdale 1-2 Walsall
Tuesday 28th August (19:45)
Carabao Cup Second Round
WALSALL v Macclesfield