The Shakers against the Saddlers...
Jon Whitney’s side will head to Gigg Lane full of confidence after back-to-back home wins over Sheffield United and Bristol Rovers. The Saddlers have lost only two of the last 12 away games in all competitions, and can climb into the top ten with victory at relegation-threatened Bury. The struggling Shakers are 21st in League One, two points from safety, and have won only one of their last 18 league games, drawing three and losing the other 14. However, that win did come in their last home game – 5-1 against Peterborough, courtesy of a 20-minute James Vaughan quadruple and a George Miller strike. The Saddlers ran out 3-2 winners in last season’s corresponding match; that remains our only victory in the last ten meetings between the sides.
Bury: 21st – P28 W7 D5 L16 F43 A55 PTS26
Walsall: 13th – P27 W9 D10 L8 F33 A35 PTS37
20th January – Port Vale 2-2 Bury – League One
James Vaughan scored his 15th and 16th goals of the season as Bury twice came from behind to draw at Port Vale. The ex-Huddersfield man had an early effort cleared off the line by Nathan Smith, before Vale debutant Tyler Walker fired the hosts ahead with a powerful 20-yard strike. Vaughan converted Hallam Hope’s inviting cross to level proceedings, but a Ryan Taylor penalty restored Vale’s lead in first-half stoppage-time. But the Shakers fought back again to earn a precious point, Vaughan collecting Scott Burgess’ pass before drilling home on 55 minutes.
21st January – Walsall 3-1 Bristol Rovers – League One
The Saddlers recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time since October after a comfortable victory over Bristol Rovers. Eoghan O’Connell’s emphatic volley put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time, before Simeon Jackson’s exquisite lob and Joe Edwards’ cool finish made it 3-0. Rovers top scorer Matty Taylor pulled one back with a close-range header late on, but it proved nothing more than a consolation.
Bury wins: 23
Walsall wins: 18
27th August 2016 – Walsall 3-3 Bury – League One
Walsall had to settle for a point after squandering a three-goal lead against battling Bury. First-half strikes from Kieron Morris, Erhun Oztumer and Simeon Jackson gave the Saddlers a seemingly unassailable half-time advantage. But the visitors rallied after the break, with three goals in 19 second-half minutes from Leon Barnett, James Vaughan and Danny Mayor earning the Shakers a draw.
Bury Manager: Chris Brass
The 41-year-old was appointed head coach in December 2016 on a deal until the end of the season. Brass, who previously held the role of Head of Football Operations, was initially placed in interim charge following the dismissal of David Flitcroft after an 11-game winless run. A former defender, Easington-born Brass spent the majority of his playing career with Burnley and York, whom he also managed from June 2003 to November 2004.
Bury Star Man: James Vaughan
The in-form 28-year-old has scored six goals in his last two games, including four in 20 first-half minutes against Peterborough earlier this month. The Birmingham-born forward was on target against Walsall back in August and is the club’s top scorer with 16 goals in 22 league appearances. In April 2005, the former Derby, Leicester and Huddersfield striker became the Premier League’s youngest-ever scorer when he netted for Everton against Crystal Palace, aged 16 years and 271 days.
The Saddlers have no injury concerns.
The East Yorkshire-based official took charge of our goalless draw with Southend in November, during which he brandished six yellow cards. Boyeson has refereed a total of 23 matches this season, handing out 76 yellow cards and only two red.
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