The Saddlers face AFC Wimbledon tomorrow evening as both of the least fancied sides hope to keep their unbeaten run going.
AFC Wimbledon have yet to concede a league goal, but only scoring one in the process. The Saddlers on the other hand have had over sixty attempts at goal so far this season so will be interesting to see how it pans out.
AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley has a fully fit squad to choose from. Forward Andy Barcham has overcome a toe problem to return to training and is available for selection.
Midfielder Liam Trotter and defender Terell Thomas are also back in training, with Thomas hoping to see his first action of the season.
The Saddlers will sweat on the fitness of Zeli Ismail who missed Saturday’s game with a knock. Otherwise it will be as you were with Dean Keates having a full strength side to choose from.
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
AFC Wimbledon – King, Watson, Oshilaja, Nightingale, Purrington, Wagstaff, Soares, Trotter, Barcham, Appiah, Hanson.
MORGAN FERRIER (WALSALL)
Ferrier continued to increase his market price this weekend following a dominant display against Gillingham. Yet again another League 1 defence have failed to contain Ferrier and he capped off a wonderful performance by grabbing a goal. At £35,000 it is already looking like money well spent. Can the meanest defence in League 1 keep him quiet tomorrow evening?
JAMES HANSON (AFC WIMBLEDON)
A bit like Jamie Cureton in the nineties, whenever you see James Hansons name it sends a little shiver down your spine! Hanson just loves scoring against the Saddlers and many still havent forgiven him for THAT hat-trick that all but ended our promotion challenge a few years ago. Unmark him at your peril – still struggle to believe he is still only thirty years old.
The Saddlers have faced AFC Wimbledon (newly formed) on four occasions – Walsall 2, Drawn 0, AFC Wimbledon 2
The last time both sides met was in April of this year where the Saddlers let a two goal lead slip to eventually lose 3-2.
Our last four games v AFC Wimbledon
14.04.18 – Walsall 2-3 AFC Wimbledon
25.11.17 – AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Walsall
25.02.17 – AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Walsall
06.08.18 – Walsall 3-1 AFC Wimbledon
Referee – TOM NIELD
Matthew Lee and Anthony Da Costa
Fourth Official : Grant Taylor
Nield has had a brief career so far, having only made his professional debut at the start of last season. Surprisingly Nield has already officiated a game involving the Saddlers. our 1-1 draw with Blackpool back in October. Nield dished out sixty four yellow cards last season and just one red. He also only gave away three penalties. Two of which came in the game he gave his only red card – Cheltenham 3-1 Colchester.
Given Wimbledon’s start to the season I cannot see this being the onslaught of attacks we have become accustomed to. This will need a bit more grit and fight. Wimbledon are slowly becoming a very useful outfit under Neil Ardley and another season of survival is their current aim. The Saddlers won quite comfortably against them last season but I will happily take a draw tomorrow night.
VITAL PREDICTION – AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Walsall
Saturday 25th August (3pm)
Sky Bet League 1
Rochdale v WALSALL