The Saddlers host the Silkmen tomorrow...
Walsall get their FA Cup campaign underway tomorrow against National League side Macclesfield. The Saddlers have been in excellent form of late and are unbeaten in six heading into tomorrow’s first-round tie, having also lost only once in ten. Walsall reached the FA Cup fourth round last season – beating Fleetwood, Chesterfield and Dean Smith’s Brentford en route, before losing to Championship outfit Reading. John Askey’s Macclesfield booked their place in the FA Cup first-round proper after thrashing North Ferriby 4-1 in the fourth qualifying round. The Silkmen currently sit tenth in the National League, four points adrift of the play-offs, although they are winless in their last five league games.
Walsall: 12th in League One – P15 W5 D6 L4 F20 A21 PTS21
Macclesfield: 10th in National League – P18 W9 D3 L6 F25 A18 PTS30
29th October – Walsall 1-1 Coventry – League One
Erhun Oztumer’s eighth goal of the season earned Walsall a battling point against resurgent Coventry. Andy Rose deservedly put the Sky Blues in front on 37 minutes when he turned home Marvin Sordell’s cross. But the Saddlers equalised 17 minutes from time, as Oztumer fired into the bottom corner after a neat one-two with Joe Edwards.
29th October – Maidstone 2-1 Macclesfield – National League
Yemi Odubade came off the bench to score an 89th-minute winner as Maidstone came from behind to beat Macclesfield. Chris Holroyd fired the Silkmen ahead on eight minutes with a crisp half-volley, but Liam Enver-Marum’s tap-in brought the home side level before half-time. The visitors had chances to go back in front, but Danny Whitaker’s penalty was saved by Lee Worgan, and David Fitzpatrick also hit a post. And those missed opportunities proved costly, as Odubade netted late on to seal all three points for the Stones.
Walsall wins: 4Macclesfield wins: 1
30th January 2007 – Macclesfield 0-2 Walsall – League Two
A Dean Keates double earned Walsall all three points when the teams last met, almost ten years ago. Adam Murray handled inside the box after only 32 seconds, allowing Keates to slot home the resulting penalty and give the Saddlers an early lead. Danny Swailes hit the bar as Macclesfield rallied, but a stoppage-time Keates free-kick wrapped up a professional away win.
Macclesfield Manager: John Askey
The 51-year-old is a Macclesfield legend having made over 500 appearances for the Cheshire club in almost two decades as a player. The former striker had a brief spell as Town boss during the 2003/04 campaign but was replaced by Brian Horton following a poor run of results. Since his re-appointment as manager in July 2013, Askey has guided Macclesfield to 16th, sixth and tenth-place finishes in the National League.
Macclesfield Star Man: Chris Holroyd
A local lad, the 30-year forward is the Silkmen’s joint top scorer this season with seven goals in all competitions. The 5’11” frontman has appeared on over 100 occasions for his hometown team and signed a new one-year contract in the summer. He has also played for Chester, Preston and Cambridge, for whom he plundered 23 goals in 65 matches over two seasons.
Simeon Jackson is available, although Kieron Morris (ankle) is a doubt. Flo Cuvelier (Achilles) and Maz Kouhyar (knee) are both out, while Reece Flanagan and Rory Oliver are long-term absentees.
Based in Devon, Huxtable has taken charge of 13 matches this season, brandishing 41 yellow cards and no red.
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.