The Saddlers entertain the Seasiders...
Saturday, 23rd January 2016 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One
The second-placed Saddlers will be hoping to continue their recent good form when Neil McDonald’s Blackpool visit the Banks’s. Walsall have won five of their seven matches under head coach Sean O’Driscoll and can go top with a win, providing leaders Burton also slip-up against Shrewsbury. Blackpool, in 19th position, moved out of the relegation zone after hammering Scunthorpe 5-0 in their last match. The Saddlers thumped the Seasiders 4-0 at Bloomfield Road back in August.
Walsall: 2nd – P26 W15 D7 L4 F44 A25 PTS52
Blackpool: 19th – P26 W8 D4 L14 F26 A34 PTS28
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
16th January – Bury 2-3 Walsall – League One
Walsall climbed up to second after holding off a spirited Bury fightback. The Saddlers led 3-0 at the break, courtesy of goals from Chris Hussey (own goal), Tom Bradshaw and Anthony Forde. Leon Clarke's quick-fire second-half double gave Bury hope but Walsall held on.
Team:Etheridge, Demetriou, O'Connor, Downing, Taylor, Chambers, Mantom, Henry (Morris 66'), Forde, Sawyers, Bradshaw (Preston 89').
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Lalkovic, Flanagan, Cook, Kinsella.
16th January – Blackpool 5-0 Scunthorpe - League One
Blackpool moved out of the relegation zone after thrashing Scunthorpe. Tom Aldred’s early header and Brad Potts’ brace gave the Tangerines a 3-0 half-time lead. David Norris and Danny Philliskirk were on target in the second half.
Team:Doyle, White, Aimson, Aldred, Ferguson, McAllister, Norris (Rivers 75’), Potts, Yeates (Osayi-Samuel 70’), Redshaw, Philliskirk.
Subs not used: Oliver, Herron, Boyce, Dunne, Letheren.
Walsall wins: 19
Blackpool wins: 15
29th August – Blackpool 0-4 Walsall - League One
Romaine Sawyers scored twice as Walsall thrashed struggling Blackpool to go top of League One. The playmaker prodded the visitors ahead on 25 minutes, and Tom Aldred's own goal doubled our advantage shortly after the restart. Sam Mantom's header made it 3-0 and Sawyers added a spectacular fourth to round off the Saddlers' sixth successive victory in all competitions.
Neil McDonald – The 50-year-old took the managerial reins at Bloomfield Road in June 2015, succeeding ex-Birmingham boss Lee Clark. McDonald, who worked alongside Sam Allardyce at West Ham, Blackburn and Bolton, has also managed Carlisle and Swedish side Ostersunds FK. He represented Newcastle, Everton, Oldham, Bolton and Preston during a 15-year playing career.
BLACKPOOL STAR MAN:
Brad Potts – The young midfielder netted a first-half brace in the Seasiders’ 5-0 demolition of Scunthorpe last weekend. The 21-year-old has scored five goals in 27 appearances for Blackpool since signing from his first club Carlisle in June 2015. A former England U19 international, Potts played over 100 times for the Cumbrians between 2012 and 2015.
VIEW FROM THE BLACKPOOL CAMP:
Neil McDonald (on Blackpool's win over Scunthorpe) – "That's definitely the best we've played, attacking-wise and defensively. I thought we looked really solid and it was vitally important that we kept a clean sheet as well. We started off with a tempo that Scunthorpe couldn't keep to, and when the chances came along we put them in the back of the net."
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Right-back Jason Demetriou (knee) will be assessed. Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is out.
STAT OF THE DAY:
The Saddlers have only failed to score in three of their 26 League One fixtures (Bury 0-1, Wigan 0-0, Rochdale H 0-3). Only Gillingham, who have failed to score twice, have a better record.
SATURDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES (3.00pm unless stated)
Barnsley vs. Rochdale
Burton vs. Shrewsbury
Chesterfield vs. Millwall
Crewe vs. Wigan
Fleetwood vs. Doncaster
Gillingham vs. Peterborough
Oldham vs. Bury
Port Vale vs. Bradford
Scunthorpe vs. Colchester
Sheff Utd vs. Swindon
Southend vs. Coventry
Purchase your Blackpool tickets now by calling our ticket office on 01922 651416.
Alternatively, you can purchase your tickets online at https://www.eticketing.co.uk/walsallfc/