We look ahead to tomorrow's League One match against the Latics...
Both Walsall and Oldham will be looking to get their respective seasons up and running after successive defeats. The teams have made almost identical starts, having each lost their League One openers to nil and being beaten 3-2 by Championship opposition in the Carabao Cup. The Latics have finished 17th in each of the past two seasons and will be hoping for better this time around, but must improve on a record of just 31 league goals in 2016/17. We won last term’s corresponding match 2-0, thanks to goals from Erhun Oztumer and Amadou Bakayoko, although Athletic did come from behind to win 3-1 here in a Checkatrade Trophy tie. Tomorrow’s match will be our first at home in 104 days.
OLDHAM RESULTS 2017/18:
Burton (H) 2-3 – Carabao Cup
Oxford (H) 0-2
FINAL STANDINGS 2016/17:
Walsall: 14th – P46 W14 D16 L16 F51 A58 PTS58
Oldham: 17th – P46 W12 D17 L17 F31 A44 PTS53
4th March 2017 – Walsall 2-0 Oldham
An Erhun Oztumer penalty and an Amadou Bakayoko stunner helped Walsall overcome nine-man Oldham to record a fifth consecutive home win. The relegation-threatened Latics were reduced to ten men on 16 minutes when Lee Croft was dismissed for a reckless lunge on Jason McCarthy. The Saddlers finally made the breakthrough 11 minutes from time, Oztumer converting a penalty after Simeon Jackson had been tripped by Peter Clarke. Brian Wilson was then sent off for two bookable offences before Bakayoko made sure of the win with a stoppage-time rocket.
Walsall wins: 22
Oldham wins: 22
OPPOSITION IN FOCUS:
Oldham Manager: John Sheridan
Now into his third spell at Boundary Park, the 52-year-old has led Oldham to League One safety in each of the last two seasons. The 34-time Republic of Ireland international midfielder first took charge of the Latics in 2006 and guided them to the play-offs in his first season. He won the League Two title and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy during a three-year stint with Chesterfield and has also managed Plymouth, Newport and Notts County.
Oldham Star Man: Craig Davies
The 31-year-old rejoined Oldham from Scunthorpe in June and scored the Latics’ second goal in their midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Burton. The Wales international netted 13 goals in 55 appearances for Athletic from 2007 to 2009, and has also played for Barnsley, Bolton and Wigan, where he won the 2016 League One title.
WALSALL TEAM NEWS
New loan signing Shaun Donnellan is available.
Bedfordshire-based Whitestone took charge of his first match of 2017/18 last weekend – Doncaster’s goalless draw with Gillingham. He refereed 43 matches in total last term, brandishing 119 yellow cards and three red. His last Walsall game was our 1-1 home draw with Coventry last October, during which he issued six yellow cards.
Can’t attend the game? Make sure you tune into iFollow Walsall for full uninterrupted commentary and follow us on social media for exclusive build-up, in-game coverage and post-match reaction.