The Spireites are our visitors this weekend…
Saturday, 17th October 2015 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One
Walsall climbed to the top of League One with victory over Burton and will be hoping to stay there with a repeat result against Dean Saunders’ Chesterfield. The Saddlers are unbeaten in six league matches (W3 D3) and possess the best defensive record in English football’s top four divisions (just six goals conceded). Visitors Chesterfield reached the League One play-offs last season but have lost six of their last eight fixtures in all competitions.
Walsall: 1st – W7 D4 L1 F18 A6 PTS25
Chesterfield: 16th – W4 D2 L6 F16 A19 PTS14
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
Saturday, 10th October – Walsall 2-0 Burton
The Saddlers replaced opponents Burton at the top of League One after goals from Liam Kinsella and Tom Bradshaw secured a deserved win.
Team: MacGillivray, O’Connor (Preston 89’), Downing, Taylor, Kinsella, Mantom, Chambers, Flanagan (Cook 75’), Henry (Forde 85’), Sawyers, Bradshaw.
Subs not used: Baxendale, Lalkovic, Morris, Roberts.
Saturday, 10th October – Chesterfield 1-3 Gillingham
Strikes from John Egan, Rory Donnelly and Harry Lennon condemned the Spireites to back-to-back home defeats. Rai Simons netted Chesterfield’s consolation.
Team: Lee, O’Neil, Raglan, Evatt, Jones, Simons, Herd (Dieseruvwe 73’), Morsy, Gardner, O’Shea, Ebanks-Blake.
Subs not used: Hird, Humphreys, Donohue, Chapman, Talbot, Orrell.
Walsall wins: 32
Chesterfield wins: 29
Saturday, 28th March 2015 – Chesterfield 1-0 Walsall
Sam Hird’s late header gave play-off chasing Chesterfield a hard-fought win. James Chambers went closest for the Saddlers when his looping header was tipped onto the bar by Spireites keeper Tommy Lee.
Dean Saunders – The former Wolves boss succeeded Paul Cook at the Proact Stadium in May 2015. Saunders, who has also managed Wrexham, Doncaster and Crawley, was capped 75 times by Wales during his playing days. A striker by trade, the 51-year-old made over 600 career appearances, scoring 190 league goals, and played for Liverpool, Aston Villa and Swansea to name a few.
CHESTERFIELD STAR MAN:
Jay O’Shea – Irish winger who joined Chesterfield from MK Dons in January 2013. The 27-year-old helped the Spireites win the League Two title in 2013/14 and has scored three goals so far this term. A former Republic of Ireland youth international, O’Shea started his career at Birmingham and later played on loan at Middlesbrough, Stevenage and Port Vale.
VIEW FROM THE CHESTERFIELD CAMP:
Dean Saunders (on playing Walsall) – "We've got a good game coming up against Walsall who are good team and a good footballing team - we're going to have to defend well and take our chances when they come. I want us to carry on playing the football we're playing, we're playing some great football - I want us to play in an attacking way. I don't want us to shut up shop and bang the ball forwards, no one wants to see that. We have to fight through this patch and we're going to have ups and downs."
Walsall: Neil Etheridge and Jason Demetriou have returned from international duty. James O’Connor (groin) is expected to be fit. Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is injured.
Chesterfield: Gboly Ariyibi is back from USA Olympic Qualifying duty. Lee Novak has recovered from a thigh injury. Angel Martinez and Byron Harrison are out.
Christopher Kavanagh (from Manchester).
STAT OF THE DAY:
Walsall have lost only one of their last 12 home matches in League One (W6 D5).
THIS AFTERNOON’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES: (3.00pm unless stated)
Bury vs. Rochdale
Coventry vs. Blackpool
Crewe vs. Gillingham
Doncaster vs. Bradford
Fleetwood vs. Burton
Millwall vs. Swindon
Oldham vs. Sheff Utd
Port Vale vs. Peterborough
Scunthorpe vs. Shrewsbury
Southend vs. Barnsley
Wigan vs. Colchester