Saddlers back on home soil...
The Saddlers will be aiming to make it four straight home wins when play-off chasing Peterborough visit the Banks’s this weekend. Jon Whitney’s men lie four points behind Posh and have lost just one of the last seven games. Grant McCann’s side sit just outside the play-offs in eighth place, three points off the top six. The Cambridgeshire club have been inconsistent in recent weeks, winning three and losing four of their last seven. United have fared well on their travels this term; only the top two, Sheffield United and Scunthorpe, have recorded more away points than their 24. The Saddlers are actually unbeaten in seven meetings with Posh, a run stretching back to January 2011.
Walsall: 12th – P32 W10 D13 L9 F39 A43 PTS43
Peterborough: 8th – P31 W13 D8 L10 F45 A39 PTS47
14th February – Scunthorpe 0-0 Walsall – League One
The Saddlers were forced to settle for a draw despite creating the better chances against promotion hopefuls Scunthorpe. Joe Edwards went closest to finding a winner when his second-half drive was tipped onto the bar by Luke Daniels. Simeon Jackson and Erhun Oztumer also tested the home keeper, while visiting stopper Neil Etheridge was rarely troubled, making just a handful of routine saves.
14th January – Peterborough 2-1 Shrewsbury - League One
Second-half goals from Ryan Tafazolli and Dominic Ball helped Peterborough come from behind to beat ten-man Shrewsbury. Salop went ahead on 31 minutes, Stephen Humphrys converting a penalty after Michael Smith handled Shaun Whalley’s cross. However, Humphrys soon went from hero to villain, being sent off on 55 minutes for two bookable offences. And Posh took full advantage, with Tafazoli heading home Paul Taylor’s corner to level before Ball nodded in a 78th-minute winner.
Walsall wins: 20
Peterborough wins: 15
24th September 2016 – Peterborough 1-1 Walsall – League One
Simeon Jackson netted his fourth goal of the campaign as we extended our unbeaten run to three matches with a hard-fought draw at Peterborough. The Canada international glanced home Florent Cuvelier’s right-wing cross to give the Saddlers a 17th-minute lead, but Marcus Maddison equalised ten minutes later with a spectacular 20-yard strike. Neil Etheridge produced two impressive saves to thwart Posh in the second half, while Scott Laird struck a post for the Saddlers late on.
Peterborough Manager: Grant McCann
The ex-Northern Ireland international was appointed Peterborough manager on a four-year deal in May 2016 after impressing in caretaker charge. Belfast-born McCann played for Posh between 2010 and 2015, making over 150 league appearances and helping them win promotion from League One in 2010/11. The 36-year-old also played for West Ham, Cheltenham, Barnsley and Scunthorpe, where he won promotion to the Championship.
Peterborough Star Man: Marcus MaddisonDurham-born attacking midfielder who scored a spectacular equaliser in Peterborough’s 1-1 draw with Walsall back in September. A former Newcastle youth player, the 23-year-old joined Posh from Gateshead for £250,000 in August 2014 and has scored 28 goals in 111 appearances for the club to date. Maddison was named the Football League’s Young Player of the Month in October 2014.
Florent Cuvelier is out with a calf injury. Reece Flanagan is also sidelined after dislocating his shoulder in a recent Development Squad match.
Based in West Yorkshire, Haywood has brandished 95 yellow cards and five red in the 27 games he has officiated this season. His last Saddlers match was our 1-0 Checkatrade Trophy victory at Leicester U21s in November.
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