Well we are finally here folks, Walsall Football Club will end their 127 year Wembley exile this weekend as we face Bristol City in the Final of The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Walsall’s official mascot for the day, Ryan Freeman gives us his preview for the big day!
As you all know by now I am the official Walsall mascot on sunday! I have been a supporter of the Saddler`s for as long as i can remember. Football is a massive part of my life as i play football regularly and i have owned a season ticket for 3 years. I hope all Walsall fans have an amazing day and have a safe journey there and back!
Dean Smith ‘This is not a ‘normal` game, of course, and we`ve got to build it up that way. There are only three Cup Finals each season, and we`re in one of them. We have to build it up but also make sure that the lads are nice and relaxed.
We`ll be ready for it. It`s always been about winning; the day will be a great one for everyone, but ultimately we want to return home as winners.
I don`t want to be part of a losing team at Wembley, but I have every faith in my players to deliver the right result.’
To see us sell over 29,000 tickets is a massive achievement for this club and I am so proud to be the first manager to ever take this club to Wembley. The whole town is getting behind us, so let`s give it everything we`ve got!’
Walsall Team News:
Bradshaw to be assessed when the team get to London. Taylor trained with the team before leaving therefore should be fit.
Player to watch: Romaine Sawyers
His skillful style of play should be sublime on what should be a perfect pitch. Also i firmly believe he will show everyone his full potential on the biggest stage of them all.
Bristol City Team News:
Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill has a potent strike force to choose from, with Aaron Wilbraham, Kieran Agard and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas boasting 37 goals between them.
Player to watch: Jay Emmanuel Thomas
Emmanuel Thomas has pace to burn and along with his trickery will cause our full backs problems all afternoon.
Match Facts & Stats
Sunday’s match will be the first time Walsall have featured at Wembley in their 127-year history, having reached the area final of the competition in 1998 and 1999.
The Saddlers go into the game on the back of a run of just one win in eight games, which has seen them slip eight points off the play-off places.
However, they held Bristol City to a 1-1 draw at the Banks’s Stadium back in October.
Bristol City have lost their last four games at Wembley Stadium, this is Walsall’s first attempt.
Walsall have won four of their six cup games against Bristol City.
Referee – Mr Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)
Linesman – Mr Chris Powell and Mr Richard Wigglesworth
Fourth Official – Mr Mark Haywood
Fifth Official – Mr Phil Dermott
Mick Russell from Hertfordshire last officiated a Walsall game on 17th September 2014 when we defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at Molineux.
Mr Russell has officiated seven Walsall games in his career, we have won five, drawn one and lost one.
Walsall will be hoping for another strong defensive display against an inform Bristol City side who have taken 13 points from their last 5 league games. Personally i think Walsall`s smooth ‘Tiki-Taka` style of play should work well on the Wembley pitch. With that in mind i think Romaine Sawyers will have a big game. 3-1 to Walsall for me!