The U's visit the Banks's tomorrow...
Saturday, 19th March 2016 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One
Walsall will be targeting a third consecutive league win – and a first home success of 2016 – when bottom-of-the-table Colchester visit the Banks’s this weekend. Back-to-back away victories at Chesterfield and Fleetwood have breathed new life into the Saddlers’ promotion bid, lifting Jon Whitney’s men up to third in League One. Walsall can climb into the automatic promotion places if they better Wigan’s result against Bradford, while opponents Colchester, meanwhile, need a positive result to reignite their survival hopes.
Walsall: 3rd – P36 W18 D11 L7 F55 A37 PTS65
Colchester: 24th – P36 – W6 D10 L20 F45 A84 PTS28
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
15th March – Fleetwood 0-1 Walsall – League One
Tom Bradshaw scored his 17th goal of the season as Walsall edged past Fleetwood to move level on points with the automatic promotion places.
Team:Etheridge, Demetriou, Downing, O’Connor, Taylor, Henry, Chambers (Kinsella 78’), Mantom, Sawyers, Hiwula (Forde 72’), Bradshaw.
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Lalkovic, Preston, Flanagan, B Morris.
12th March – Colchester 3-3 Wigan – League One
Will Grigg’s last-minute strike denied Colchester victory against promotion-chasing Wigan. Yanic Wildscut put the Latics ahead, Alex Gilbey equalised, but Ryan Colclough’s penalty restored Wigan’s lead. Goals from Elliot Lee and George made it 3-2 to Colchester before Grigg levelled at the death.
Team:Parish, Edwards, Chambers, Eastman, Briggs, Garvan, Gilbey, Akinwande (Massey 45’), Moncur, Lee (Dunne 77’), Bonne (Porter 62’).
Subs not used: Lapslie, Brindley, Barnes, Shorey.
Walsall wins: 23
Colchester wins: 24
24th October 2015 – Colchester 4-4 Walsall – League One
James O’Connor's injury-time equaliser rescued Walsall a point at Colchester. Romaine Sawyers and Milan Lalkovic gave the Saddlers a two-goal half-time lead, but Colchester hit back through George Moncur and Marvin Sordell. George Evans restored the visitors' advantage, before strikes from Owen Garvan and Darren Ambrose put the U's 4-3 ahead. But O'Connor fired home a 92nd-minute leveller to salvage Walsall a draw.
Kevin Keen – The 49-year-old succeeded Tony Humes as Colchester manager in December 2015. A former midfielder, Keen spent his playing days with Wycombe, West Ham, Wolves, Stoke and Macclesfield before moving into coaching. The ex-West Ham caretaker boss has won two of his 16 matches in charge of the U’s.
COLCHESTER STAR MAN:
George Moncur – The 22-year-old is Colchester’s leading scorer with 11 goals in all competitions. Moncur, a former England U18 international, started out with West Ham before moving to Colchester in August 2014 following a successful loan spell. He has plundered 20 goals in 87 appearances for the U’s and netted their first goal against Walsall earlier in the season.
VIEW FROM THE COLCHESTER CAMP:
Kevin Keen (on playing Walsall) – “Walsall have played a couple of different formations themselves since the new manager has come in. It’ll be an interesting battle of wits and tactics. Walsall have got a couple of very creative players and we have to make sure they don’t have as much involvement in the game as our ones - the likes of Moncur, Ambrose and Garvan.”
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Captain Adam Chambers (knee) will be assessed. Striker Jordan Cook (hamstring) is a doubt. Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is a long-term absentee.
STAT OF THE DAY:
Walsall and Colchester have played in the same league for eight consecutive seasons.
THIS AFTERNOON’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES: (3.00pm unless stated)
Bury vs. Shrewsbury
Coventry vs. Swindon
Crewe vs. Blackpool
Doncaster vs. Peterborough
Fleetwood vs. Barnsley
Millwall vs. Sheff Utd
Oldham vs. Rochdale
Port Vale vs. Burton
Scunthorpe vs. Chesterfield
Southend vs. Gillingham
Wigan vs. Bradford