A local derby at the Banks's...
Both teams are in good form heading into tomorrow’s Midlands derby, having each won four of their last five matches in all competitions. Erhun Oztumer inspired Walsall to victory at Swindon last weekend – our first away win of the campaign – and we are now just three points off the top six, with a game in hand. Jon Whitney’s men have lost just once in nine, although visitors Coventry have also improved of late, winning back-to-back home matches to climb off the bottom. If you want to see goals, come down to the Banks’s Stadium; there have been more goals here than at any other League One venue – 27 in seven league fixtures, an average of 3.9 goals per game!
Walsall: 12th – P14 W5 D5 L4 F19 A20 PTS20
21st – P14 W3 D6 L5 F12 A16 PTS15
22nd October – Swindon 0-2 Walsall – League One
Erhun Oztumer’s magnificent brace earned Walsall a first away league win of the season at the expense of struggling Swindon. The diminutive midfielder put the Saddlers ahead on 17 minutes with an audacious 40-yard lob before doubling the lead after half-time with a sublime volley from Kevin Toner’s long pass.
22nd October – Coventry 2-0 Rochdale – League One
Goals from Daniel Agyei and Andre Wright earned Coventry all three points against high-flying Rochdale. The Sky Blues broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark, when Agyei, who had earlier hit a post, tapped in Ruben Lameiras’ low centre. Dale had their chances but Wright secured victory on 84 minutes with a close-range finish.
Walsall wins: 12
Coventry wins: 20
12th January 2016 – Coventry 1-1 Walsall – League One
Tom Bradshaw scored his 13th goal of the season as Walsall came from behind to draw with fellow promotion contenders Coventry. The Sky Blues bossed the first-half and deservedly went ahead through Chris Stokes' 34th-minute header. Coventry had chances to increase their advantage after the break but found visiting custodian Neil Etheridge in fine form. And the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy when Bradshaw volleyed home late on to rescue the Saddlers a point.
Coventry Caretaker Manager: Mark Venus
The Sky Blues’ technical director has won four of his five matches in caretaker charge. The 49-year-old was handed the reins on a temporary basis in late September following the resignation of ex-West Brom boss Tony Mowbray. Hartlepool-born Venus, a defender for the likes of Wolves and Leicester during his playing days, also stepped in as interim boss at Hibernian and Middlesbrough.
Coventry Star Man: Marvin Sordell
The Harrow-born frontman moved to the Ricoh Arena in the summer following his release by Colchester. The 25-year-old started his career at Watford, for whom he scored 27 goals in 81 matches, before joining Bolton for £3m in January 2012. Sordell, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, scored Colchester’s second goal in the 4-4 draw against Walsall last October.
Simeon Jackson is back in contention. Flo Cuvelier (Achilles) and Maz Kouhyar (knee) are both out, while Reece Flanagan and Rory Oliver are long-term absentees.
The Northamptonshire-based official has taken charge of 15 matches this season, brandishing 42 yellow cards and no red. The last Walsall game he officiated was our 1-1 home draw with Blackpool in January.
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