The revamped Checkatrade Trophy kicks off tonight…
The revamped Checkatrade Trophy gets underway this evening, with Walsall hosting League Two newcomers Grimsby in Northern Group H. The Saddlers, who are expected to make a raft of changes, will be hoping to record their first win since the opening day. Paul Hurst’s Mariners, meanwhile, thrashed Stevenage 5-2 at the weekend and currently sit 12th, in what is their first season back in the EFL after a six-year absence. Sheffield United face Leicester’s Under-23 side in the other Group H match tonight.
Walsall: 16th in League One - P5 W1 D2 L2 F7 A8 PTS5
Grimsby: 12th in League Two – P5 W2 D0 L3 F11 A9 PTS6
27th August – Walsall 3-3 Bury – League One
Walsall had to settle for a point after squandering a three-goal lead against battling Bury. First-half strikes from Kieron Morris, Erhun Oztumer and Simeon Jackson gave the Saddlers a seemingly unassailable half-time advantage. But the visitors rallied after the break, with three goals in 19 second-half minutes from Leon Barnett, James Vaughan and Danny Mayor earning the Shakers a draw.
27th August – Grimsby 5-2 Stevenage – League Two
Omar Bogle’s hat-trick helped Grimsby to a resounding win over Stevenage. Luke Summerfield and Dominic Vose were also on target for the Mariners, while Fraser Franks and Jobi McAnuff netted the visitors’ consolation goals.
Walsall wins: 30
Grimsby wins: 22
15th January 2007 – Walsall 2-0 Grimsby - League Two
Walsall have not faced Grimsby since the 2006/07 League Two title-winning campaign, when a Martin Butler brace earned Richard Money’s side a comfortable win. The ex-Reading striker headed the Saddlers in front on 28 minutes before sealing victory late on with a close-range tap-in.
Grimsby Manager: Paul Hurst
The 41-year-old, who guided Grimsby to promotion back to the EFL last season, took sole charge of the Mariners in 2013 after previously working alongside Rob Scott. A diminutive left-back, Hurst spent his entire playing career at Rotherham, where he made over 400 appearances in 15 years.
Grimsby Star Man: Omar Bogle
A former West Brom and Birmingham youth player, the 23-year-old striker scored an impressive hat-trick in Grimsby’s 5-2 thumping of Stevenage on Saturday. He scored 13 league goals as the Mariners won promotion last term and has previously played for Solihull Moors and Hinckley.
Manager Jon Whitney is expected to make several changes to the side that drew 3-3 against Bury at the weekend.
The Northamptonshire-based official has taken charge of six matches already this season, brandishing 12 yellows and no reds. The last Walsall game he refereed came in March 2014 – a 1-1 draw at Rotherham.
If you are not attending the game, make sure you tune into Saddlers Player HD for full uninterrupted commentary at www.player.saddlers.co.uk.
Pre-match build-up, live in-game coverage and post-match reaction will be available on our official Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Snapchat and Instagram accounts.