Our first meeting against the Addicks in over four years...
Walsall and Charlton have identical records heading into this early season fixture, having both won one, drawn one and lost one of their opening three league games. The Saddlers were beaten 2-0 by a Ched Evans-inspired Chesterfield in midweek and will be looking for an immediate response against an Addicks side who crushed Shrewsbury 3-0 on the same night. It was the south-east London club’s first victory under new manager Russell Slade – and their first since relegation back to the third tier. This will be the first meeting between the two sides in over four years.
Walsall: 12th – P3 W1 D1 L1 F3 A3 PTS4
Charlton: 9th – P3 W1 D1 L1 F4 A3 PTS4
16th August – Chesterfield 2-0 Walsall – League One
Ched Evans scored twice as Walsall suffered their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Chesterfield. Andreas Makris rattled the bar for the Saddlers in the first half, but Evans fired the hosts in front on 75 minutes with a thunderous 20-yard strike. Evans then made it 2-0 four minutes later as his left-footed shot deflected over Neil Etheridge.
16th August – Charlton 3-0 Shrewsbury – League One
Charlton secured their first victory of the season – and their win under new boss Russell Slade - after easing past Shrewsbury. Ricky Holmes’ 22nd-minute curler put the Addicks ahead and Johnnie Jackson bundled home a second shortly after. The impressive Holmes then scored directly from a corner to seal an emphatic victory.
Walsall wins: 10
Charlton wins: 14
9th April 2012 – Charlton 1-0 Walsall - League One
Dany N’Guessan’s first-half strike proved the difference when Walsall last played Charlton over four years ago. The only goal came on 35 minutes when N’Guessan headed in a Johnnie Jackson free-kick for his third goal in five games since joining on loan from Millwall. The Addicks, who romped to the League One title that season, also went close through Bradley Wright-Phillips, while Jon Macken spurned Walsall’s best chance.
Charlton Manager: Russell Slade
The 55-year-old was appointed Charlton manager on a three-year deal in June 2016. He is one of the most experienced and highly regarded bosses at this level, having twice been named League One Manager of the Year. He has previously managed Cardiff, Yeovil, Brighton and Leyton Orient, whom he guided to the 2013/14 League One play-off final.
Charlton Star Man: Ricky Holmes
A summer acquisition, the 29-year winger was named in the 2015/16 PFA League Two Team of the Year after helping Northampton win promotion as champions. He started his career in non-league with Chelmsford before moving into league football with Barnet. The Rochford-born attacker later spent two years at Portsmouth and was crowned their Player of the Season in 2013/14.
Erhun Oztumer and Isaiah Osbourne are in contention, while captain Adam Chambers will be assessed. Rico Henry is out with a shoulder injury.
The Staffordshire-born official refereed 31 matches last season, brandishing 91 yellow cards and two reds, but is yet to take charge of a game this term. The last Walsall match he officiated came way back in November 2013 – a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United.
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