The Cod Army against the Saddlers...
We will be looking to preserve our unbeaten record against Fleetwood, having won six of the previous seven meetings between the sides. Three of those victories came last season: 3-1 and 1-0 in the league, and 2-0 in the cup. Jon Whitney’s Saddlers beat promotion hopefuls Sheffield United 1-0 last time out – our first league win in six – and can go level on points with the play-offs with another away-day success this weekend. Uwe Rosler’s eighth-placed Fleetwood sit outside the top six only on goal difference and have won their last four home league games, scoring nine goals in the process. Last season’s corresponding fixture was postponed twice – so let’s hope the weather is kinder to us this year!
Fleetwood: 8th – P20 W8 D5 L7 F31 A26 PTS29
Walsall: 16th – P20 W6 D8 L6 F23 A28 PTS26
3rd December – Shrewsbury 0-0 Fleetwood – FA Cup Second Round
The Cod Army face an FA Cup second-round replay after being held by League One rivals Shrewsbury. The home side enjoyed the better of proceedings, hitting the woodwork three times through Louis Dodds, Junior Brown and Ivan Toney. The winner of next Tuesday’s replay will travel to Bristol City in round three.
29th November – Sheff Utd 0-1 Walsall – League One
Amadou Bakayoko scored the only goal as Walsall stunned high-flying Sheffield United. The decisive moment came on 42 minutes, when the 20-year-old striker chased Erhun Oztumer’s long pass before prodding past Simon Moore. United had plenty of chances – the best of which fell to local lad Billy Sharp but his weak penalty was saved by Neil Etheridge. The Blades also had two goals disallowed, as well as a host of other opportunities, but the Saddlers held on for a memorable win.
Fleetwood wins: 0
Walsall wins: 6
2nd May – Walsall 3-1 Fleetwood – League One
Walsall eased to a comfortable victory over struggling Fleetwood to take the League One automatic promotion race to the final day. The Saddlers stormed out of the blocks, with Tom Bradshaw’s sweeping finish and Paul Downing’s powerful volley making it 2-0 inside 18 minutes. Romaine Sawyers drilled home a third after the break, before substitute Devante Cole curled in a late consolation for the visitors.
Fleetwood Manager: Uwe Rosler
The 48-year-old was appointed Fleetwood boss on a two-year deal in July, replacing Steven Pressley. The former East Germany international has also managed Leeds, Wigan and Brentford – whom he guided to the 2013 League One play-off final – as well as three Norwegian sides. A striker during his playing career, Rosler made over 150 appearances for Manchester City from 1994 to 1998, and also turned out for Southampton and West Brom.
Fleetwood Star Man: David Ball
The 26-year-old is Town’s top scorer with eight goals in 25 appearances in all competitions. A former Manchester City youth player, Ball moved to Highbury from Peterborough in July 2012 and has notched 43 times in 179 matches for the Cod Army to date. The tall Whitefield-born striker was nominated for FIFA’s Goal of the Year in 2015 for his stunning chip in a 1-1 draw with Preston (video below).
Kieron Morris (ankle) is a doubt. Maz Kouhyar and Reece Flanagan are both out.
The Shrewsbury-based official took charge of his first match of the season on Wednesday night – Bradford’s 1-0 victory over Cambridge in the Checkatrade Trophy. He refereed 27 games last term, brandishing 85 yellow cards and four red. The last Walsall match he officiated was our 1-1 home draw with Sheffield United in March 2015.
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