First hosts fifth tomorrow afternoon...
Monday, 28th December 2015 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One
Two in-form promotion-chasing sides do battle at the Banks’s. Table-topping Walsall have won four consecutive league matches and remain unbeaten under new head coach Sean O’Driscoll. Graham Westley’s fifth-placed Peterborough are also in fine fettle, having won seven of their last nine competitive fixtures, and possess the division’s most prolific attack with 49 goals. The Saddlers will end 2015 top of League One with a win.
Walsall: 1st – P22 W13 D6 L3 F38 A19 PTS45
Peterborough: 5th – P23 W11 D4 L8 F49 A34 PTS37
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
Saturday, 26th December – Millwall 0-1 Walsall – League One
Milan Lalkovic scored his seventh goal of the season as Walsall beat Millwall to go top of League One. The Slovakian netted the game’s only goal with a cool right-footed finish on 29 minutes.
Team: Etheridge, Demetriou, O’Connor, Downing, Taylor (Kinsella 45’), Chambers, Evans, Morris (Cook 72’), Sawyers, Forde, Lalkovic (Preston 89’).
Subs not used: Mantom, Baxendale, Flanagan, Roberts.
Saturday, 26th December – Peterborough 2-0 Chesterfield – League One
Conor Washington’s brace lifted Peterborough up to fifth after a comfortable win over struggling Chesterfield. The in-form striker headed home a Marcus Maddison cross to put Posh ahead on the stroke of half-time. He then fired past Chesterfield keeper Tommy Lee to seal victory on 76 minutes.
Team: Alnwick, Smith, Almeida Santos, Bostwick, Maddison, Oztumer (Samuelsen 69’), Beautyman (Baldwin 80’), Forrester, Taylor, Washington, Coulibaly (Angol 69’).
Subs not used: Fox, Henry, Addison, Nicholson.
Walsall wins: 19
Peterborough wins: 15
19th September 2015 – Peterborough 1-1 Walsall – League One
Substitute Michael Bostwick scored a controversial late penalty to deny Walsall victory against ten-man Peterborough. Romaine Sawyers’ thunderous 25-yard strike gave the Saddlers a deserved lead shortly after half-time. The hosts were reduced to ten men when Jermaine Anderson was sent off for throwing a water bottle into the crowd, but Bostwick’s late spot-kick earned Posh a point.
Graham Westley – The 47-year-old has made an impressive start to life in the London Road hotseat, winning 11 of his 17 matches since succeeding Dave Robertson in September 2015. Westley, who was named League One’s Manager of the Month for November, enjoyed three spells in charge of Stevenage, winning back-to-back promotions from the Conference to League One. He has also managed Preston, Farnborough and Rushden & Diamonds.
PETERBOROUGH STAR MAN:
Conor Washington – The in-form striker has scored 11 goals in his last 11 games, including a hat-trick against Scunthorpe last month. He joined Peterborough in January 2014 from Newport, where he won promotion to the Football League in 2012/13. The 23-year-old started his career in non-league with St Ives Town, scoring 52 goals in 50 matches.
VIEW FROM THE PETERBOROUGH CAMP:
Graham Westley (on in-form striker Conor Washington) – “I am sure plenty of Championship clubs are lining up to take Conor, but I am wondering when the Premier League clubs will start having a look. Conor is the best striker in League One and he is capable of going beyond the Championship. No matter what problem you put in front of Conor, he has an answer. He has pace to burn, he has great strength and the quality of his finishing is improving all the time.”
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Top-scorer Tom Bradshaw and left-back Rico Henry could feature after missing the last few matches due to ankle injuries. Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is a long-term absentee.
STAT OF THE DAY:
The last four meetings between Walsall and Peterborough have ended in draws.
MONDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES (3.00pm unless stated)
Southend vs. Millwall (1.00pm)
Barnsley vs. Blackpool
Burton vs. Swindon
Chesterfield vs. Coventry
Crewe vs. Shrewsbury
Fleetwood vs. Wigan
Gillingham vs. Colchester
Oldham vs. Doncaster
Port Vale vs. Bury
Scunthorpe vs. Rochdale
Sheff Utd vs. Bradford