A local derby at the Banks's this weekend...
Walsall will be hoping to make it three straight wins this weekend when they host local neighbours Shrewsbury. The Saddlers have had an impressive record in this fixture over recent years having won nine of the last 12 meetings between the sides, including both of last season’s matches. Shrewsbury have not won at the Banks’s since 1993 and are currently without a manager after Micky Mellon left to join Tranmere, leaving goalkeeping coach Danny Coyne in caretaker charge. Town have struggled so far this term, winning only two of their opening 12 league matches, and are in 23rd position, a point off bottom.
Walsall: 16th – P11 W3 D4 L4 F13 A17 PTS13
Shrewsbury: 23rd – P12 W2 D4 L6 F11 A18 PTS10
4th October – Sheff Utd 1-2 Walsall – Checkatrade Trophy
Walsall secured their place in the second round of the Checkatade Trophy with victory at Sheffield United. Scott Laird’s 16th-minute tap-in put the Saddlers ahead before Bakayoko fired home his fourth goal in two Trophy matches on 66 minutes. Paul Coutts pulled one back for United late on, but Jon Whitney’s side held on to make it back-to-back wins in Northern Group H.
8th October – Bradford 2-0 Shrewsbury – League One
Goals from Nicky Law and Haris Vuckic earned unbeaten Bradford all three points against managerless Shrewsbury. Law fired the Bantams in front on 21 minutes and Filipe Morais went close to a second when his effort was cleared off the line. Salop improved after the break but the hosts sealed victory in stoppage time, Vuckic converting a penalty after Antoni Sarcevic had brought down Daniel Devine.
Walsall wins: 41
Shrewsbury wins: 22
26th April 2016 – Walsall 2-1 Shrewsbury – League One
Walsall kept their automatic promotion hopes alive with a nervy win over near-neighbours Shrewsbury. Kieron Morris fired the Saddlers ahead with a crisp 11th-minute drive before Rico Henry’s deflected effort made it 2-0 at half-time. Ex-Walsall full-back Mat Sadler's powerful header gave Shrewsbury hope but the hosts held on to close the gap on second-placed Burton to three points.
Shrewsbury Caretaker Manager: Danny Coyne
The 43-year-old goalkeeping coach was placed in temporary charge following the departure of Micky Mellon. Coyne made over 500 first-team appearances for the likes of Tranmere, Grimsby, Burnley and Middlesbrough, but has no previous managerial experience. His first game in the dugout ended in a 2-0 defeat at Bradford last weekend.
Shrewsbury Star Man: Ivan Toney
The 20-year-old forward moved to Greenhous Meadow on a half-season loan deal from Newcastle in August. Toney became the youngest player in Northampton’s history when he made his Cobblers debut against Bradford in 2012, aged 16. In his last six appearances for Shrewsbury, Toney has scored three goals and received four yellow cards and one red.
Flo Cuvelier and Isaiah Osbourne are both in contention. Simeon Jackson will be assessed following his return from international duty. Maz Kouhyar will miss out after picking up a knee injury with Afghanistan. Reece Flanagan and Rory Oliver are long-term absentees.
The Essex-based official has taken charge of ten matches this season, brandishing 31 yellow cards and one red. The last Walsall game he refereed was our 1-1 home draw with Swindon last season.
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