The Saddlers visit the Railwaymen tomorrow afternoon...
Saturday, 13th February 2016 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One
Walsall will be looking to erase the disappointment of last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Millwall with a positive result at relegation-threatened Crewe. The high-flying Saddlers, five league games unbeaten on the road, boast the best away record in English football’s top-four divisions. Steve Davis’ Alex, in 22nd position, have spent the majority of the season in the relegation zone but are unbeaten in four.
Crewe: 22nd – P29 W6 D8 L15 F30 A50 PTS26
Walsall: 2nd – P29 W16 D8 L5 F47 A30 PTS56
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
6th February – Crewe 2-0 Rochdale – League One
First-half goals from Marcus Haber and Brad Inman earned Crewe their first victory in over two months. The result lifted Crewe up to 22nd, four points adrift of fifth-bottom Shrewsbury.
Team:Garratt, Turton, Nugent, Ajayi, Guthrie, Inman (Ng 81), Jones, Fox, Cooper (Bakayogo 71’), Haber, Seager (Howell 87’).
Subs not used: Richards, Baillie, Ainley, Kirk.
6th February – Walsall 0-3 Millwall– League One
Walsall stayed second in League One despite losing heavily to play-off chasing Millwall. Lee Gregory’s second-half brace and a debut goal from Mahlon Romeo sealed the win.
Team: Roberts, Taylor (Kieron Morris 75’), O’Connor, Downing, Demetriou, Henry, Chambers (Lalkovic 76’), Mantom, Forde, Sawyers, Bradshaw (50’).
Subs not used: Preston, Kinsella, Bryn Morris Jezeph.
Crewe wins: 22
Walsall wins: 31
26th September 2015 – Walsall 1-1 Crewe – League One
Walsall were left to rue a catalogue of missed opportunities after being held to a frustrating home draw by lowly Crewe. Tom Bradshaw’s early header put the Saddlers ahead, but Ben Nugent equalised with a firm left-footed drive on 18 minutes. Dean Smith's men dominated for long periods but just couldn't find a winner, with Jason Demetriou hitting the bar and Bradshaw blazing wastefully over.
Steve Davis – The 50-year-old former Alex defender is the sixth-longest serving manager in English football’s top-four divisions. He guided the Railwaymen to promotion via the League Two play-offs in 2011/12 and lifted the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy the following campaign. Davis, whose son Harry plays for the Gresty Road club, has also managed Northwich and Nantwich.
CREWE STAR MAN:
Brad Inman – A former Scotland U21 international, the 24-year-old has scored five goals in his last five appearances for the Alex. The Australian-born midfielder joined Crewe from his first club Newcastle in August 2013 following a successful loan spell and is their eight-goal top-scorer this season.
VIEW FROM THE CREWE CAMP:
Steve Davis (on playing Walsall) – “It should be a proper football match. They will be looking to bounce back after the Millwall game but they are still superbly placed in the league. They will be aiming for a play-off place at the very least so they need the points as much as we do.”
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Neil Etheridge could be in line for a return after missing the last two matches with a gashed knee. Tom Bradshaw (ankle) will be assessed, while Craig MacGillivray (shoulder) is a doubt. Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Darren Handley (Lancashire).
STAT OF THE DAY:
The Saddlers have the best away record in English football’s top-four divisions.
SATURDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES (3.00pm unless stated)
Blackpool vs. Shrewsbury
Colchester vs. Swindon
Coventry vs. Bury
Doncaster vs. Sheff Utd
Gillingham vs. Barnsley
Peterborough vs. Bradford
Port Vale vs. Fleetwood
Rochdale vs. Millwall
Scunthorpe vs. Southend
Wigan vs. Oldham