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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

Strong yes
Weak yes
Neutral
Weak no
Strong no


 

Walsall Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 20/04/2003

THE Mariners may be just about relegated after their failure to win at Hillsbrough on Saturday but while there is a mathematical chance of survival. Town fans will expect total pride and commitment at Blundell Park on Monday.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Walsall (h)


The Bottom Line

Town must win. If not, they could be mathematically relegated.

The Opposition - Any Good?

Former Wolves boss Colin Lee has assembled a very capable little squad at the Bescott Stadium since he took charge just over a year ago. One of the stars of the team is Australian Steve Corica, who over the years, with both Leicester and Wolves, has always caused the Mariners problems in midfield. In attack, Walsall have goalscoring talent in the form of Brazilian Junior (left) and Portuguese striker Jorge Leitao who is the club’s leading scorer with 13 goals. In midfield is ex Mariner Darren Wrack who is enjoying another good season at the Bescott stadium, firing in 7 goals from midfield, while in defence is former Lincoln, Derby and West Brom defender Matt Carbon.

Recent Form

 

TownWalsall
DSheff Wed(a)0-0
WPalace(h)1-4
DWolves(h)0-1
LLeicester(a)0-2
DBurnley(h)1-1
DNorwich(h)0-0
DCoventry(h)0-0
WGillingham(a)1-0
LPortsmouth(h)1-2
LPalace(a)0-2

Players To Watch

 

TownWalsall

Michael Boulding

Steve Corica

The Mariners will look to "Quick Mick" to provide any miracle that may or may not come their way. A pacy striker who last season had a fantastic second half of the season with the club – form that earned him a move to Premiership Aston Villa. That didn’t work out and so Mick is back. However, his second spell at the club has been blighted by bad luck and injury, but has still managed 4 goals in relatively few starts.

30-year-old Australian midfielder who arrived in the English Football League in 1995 when he joined Leicester City from Marconi. He then went on to Wolves where he stayed until 2000 when he went abroad to play his trade in Japan, before being returning to English football in February last year. A classy, skilful player who provides an import link between midfield and attack, and can also score goals himself. Has been on the bench recently, but could have a key role to play in the game.

Top Scorers

 

TownWalsall

Campbell 7
Oster 6
Kabba 6

Leitao 13
Junior 12
Wrack 7

Team News

 

TownWalsall

  • The Mariners have no fresh injury worries for the visit of Walsall to Blundell Park. Simon Ford is still struggling with his achilles injury and is unlikely to return whilst Stuart Campbell will shrug off a calf injury in time to play.

  • The only change is likely to be further up the pitch, where manager Paul Groves may decide, in the present circumstances, to go for it and put two players up front. This would mean a recall for Darren Mansaram in place of a midfielder, with Chris Bolder being the most likely to make way.
  • Definitely out for the Saddlers is ex Leeds defender Danny Hay who may well miss the rest of the season with an ankle problem

    >Martin O’Connor , who missed the Saddler’s draw with Norwich on Saturday could return to the squad but after the Midland’s clubs impressive draw with Norwich, he may struggle to reclaim his place.

  • This means that boss Colin Lee will probably stick with the same side that drew with Norwich on Saturday.
  • Probable Starting XI's

     

    TownWalsall
    Danny Coyne
    John McDermott
    Steve Chettle
    George Santos
    Tony Gallimore
    Stuart Campbell
    Richard Hughes
    Paul Groves
    Michael Keane
    Michael Boulding
    Darren Mansaram
    James Walker
    Ian Roper
    Tony Barras
    Matt Carbon
    Darren Wrack
    Carl Robinson
    Jamie Lawrence
    Vinny Samways
    Zigor Aranalde
    Junior
    Jorge Leitao

    Subs

     

    TownWalsall
    Steve Livingstone
    Chris Bolder
    Terry Cooke
    Wes Parker
    Sean Allaway (GK)
    Steve Corica
    Pedro Matias
    Fitzroy Simpson
    Darren Bazeley
    Gavin Ward (GK)

    Last Time Out

    The Mariner last played Walsall at the tail end of last year, on the 7th December when they lost 3-1 at the Bescott Stadium. Goals from Walsall that day came from Junior, Leitao and ex Town midfielder Darren Wrack. Steve Livingstone’s goal before the break made it 1-1, but a second half collapse from Town saw a precious point disappear.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott (Santos), Gallimore, Gavin, Ford, Coldicott, Campbell, Oster, Pouton, Livingstone, Barnard (Soames).
    Subs (not used): Groves, Thompson, Allaway (GK)

    Attendance: 5,888    Report

    Walsall Head-to-Head (67th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Prediction

    Fishy prediction: 3-0 to Town Reader's POMs

    Directions

    Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park (left).

    Admission Prices

    Click on the link for ticket prices to Blundell Park.




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