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Walsall Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 14/12/2001

IT'S midway through December - Grimsby have lost out in a bid to secure the services of a key loan defender for the rest of the season.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Walsall (a)


With only one league win in 16 games and a manager with virtually no resources and falling attendances, the game at Walsall tomorrow is a must win match.

The Story So Far

TownWalsall

It's been downhill all the way since the beginning of September and Grimsby are currently in the bottom three of the division. However, recent performances have given much optimism around the Town but the setback of not bringing defender Marlon Broomes' services to the club on a more permanent basis has rocked the boat a little. Still, our record with the former Blackburn player in the side was awful anyway. When he joined the club we were second in the league with 13 points from six games. Who needs him!

The Saddlers started the season very slowly and looked to be locked in a relegation battle right from the start, but by late October they had moved up the league a little after some good wins. However, their home form (which had been quite good) fell apart at the visit of Sheff Utd (who couldn't score a goal away from home for toffee) and this has prompted another team to fall away. No doubt Walsall will want to win this game, and a draw would be no good to either side, especially if Barnsley manage a result at Sheff Utd.

Recent Form

 

TownWalsall
DWolves(h) 1-1
LMan City(h)0-2
LArsenal(a)0-2
LBurnley(a)0-1
LMillwall(h)2-2
DSheff Wed(a) 0-0
LBarnsley(a)1-4
LRotherham(a)0-2
LSheff Utd(h)1-2
DWimbledon(a)2-2
LBradford(a)0-2
WForest(h)2-0

Overall League Record

 

TownWalsall
PWDLFA
2356122242
PWDLFA
2355132440

Leading Goalscorers (League + Cup)

 

TownWalsall
Jevons6
Rowan5
Boulding4
Barras5
Wrack4
Byfield4

Town Team News

Injury-hit Grimsby face a struggle to put eleven first-team players on the pitch. Pouton and Livingstone look set to miss a large part of the season, McDermott is still recovering from his calf injury, Campbell and Rowan will be missing over the Christmas and New Year period and Gallimore is struggling to be fit. Broomes departed for Sheff Wed, which means Raven will come in at the back to partner Paul Groves. It looks likely that Neilson will play at right back and Butterfield will move into midfield. Boulding will continue down the left with Jevons and Jeffrey leading the attack.

Walsall Team News

Ian Brightwell and Don Goodman remain out of the side through injury but Ian Roper returns for the Midlanders after serving a one-match ban. Frederic Biancalani could be ready for a start and so too could ex-Mariner Andy Tillson, although the latter is more unlikely of the two.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met it was back in the 99/00 season when Walsall eventually got relegated back into Division Two. However, the Saddlers won on the day 1-0 at the Bescot Stadium in the days when Mark Nicholls was at the club on loan from Chelsea.

Walsall: Walker, Brightwell, Barras, Viveash, Padula, Wrack, Bukran (Keates, 84), Vlachos, Matias, Ricketts (Larusson, 84), Robins

Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott (Butterfield, 81), Lever, Livingstone, Gallimore, Donovan, Coldicott, Groves, Black (Buckley, 81), Clare, Nicholls (Pouton, 63)  Report

Walsall Head-to-Head (63rd on The Opposition Ladder).

Fishy Prediction

With just one win between the two sides in the last 12 games, something has to give. Walsall have conceded 12 goals in their last five games whereas the Mariners have been improving on that front but have only scored one goal in four games. Sorry, but this looks like either a 0-0 or a 4-3 - but which way it goes I wouldn't like to guess!

Prediction: 0-0 Draw. Reader's POMs

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Walsall's Preview



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