Vital Football

Latest Walsall FC News

Preview: Hartlepool United Vs Walsall

Preview: Hartlepool United Vs Walsall

We make the trip up north looking to build on a perfect start to our league campaign. 3 points and a clean sheet at home was just what Dean Smith would have been praying for last weekend and he takes his Walsall team to Hartlepool full of confidence, despite the loss of influential midfielder Adam Chambers through suspension. For a full rant about why it is a travesty Chambers is missing for the next 3 games please see my previous argument for some harsh but fair words on a memorable refereeing performance. Whether we like it or not, Chambers is missing and this is a chance for Anton Peterlin to put his personal stamp on the centre of our midfield.

Hartlepool is a team that most teams in our division will underestimate and I hope we do not showcase such naivety. I think they have as much chance of making the play-offs as ourselves, Leyton Orient and other teams of a similar standing and to write them off as mid-table strugglers would be setting ourselves up for a big fall. They took the lead twice at MK Dons last week and were unlucky to only draw. The Dons can be an intimidating and, for many teams, baron hunting ground and to take a point away from there was a very impressive result for United. They are never shy of a goal and the familiar faces of James Brown and Adam Boyd have been joined by Colin Nish and James Poole, from Hibs and Man City respectively. There is now a healthy competition for places up front and with the likes of Nathan Luscombe, Nobby Solano and Andy Monkhouse providing the service, goals should not be hard to come by.

If there is one comfort in going to Hartlepool it`s that they are not exactly known for an impervious defence. They conceded the lead twice in their 2-2 draw with MK Dons and it may be the first good chance the likes of Jon Macken and Will Grigg will get to open their accounts for the season. It may also be a chance for Claude Gnakpa to show the travelling faithful what he`s about up the wing. Evan Horwood is, arguably, Hartlepool`s best player but he is also very attack minded and, at home, that could work against him. The left-back is a big threat and Gnakpa may be required to drop back and help young Darryl Westlake defend against him and Andy Monkhouse but the gaps will open on the break. The left-back is liable to abandon his defensive duties and I`m sure Deano will have briefed the lads on where and when to throw caution to the wind.

By rights, if we defend well and stick to the game-plan then a win is well within our grasp but nothing in football is ever that easy. Hartlepool will come at us and try and keep us camped in our own half and their danger men cannot be under-estimated. At home you would fancy them to score a goal or two and we can`t rely on the fact we might keep another clean sheet. If we`re going to win, we need two or three goals and to hope that our defence lives up to its growing reputation. On that basis, my prediction is 2-1 Walsall with a few world-class saves from Super Jim thrown in for good measure and a first goal of the season for Jon Macken.

Come on you Reds!!

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Dan Malin
Date:Saturday August 13 2011
Time: 1:30PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Walsall Articles

Walsall Reject Preston Bradshaw Bid

Express and Star reporting Walsall have rejected Preston derisory offer of £400,000 for leading goalscorer Tom Bradshaw.

Rico Henry Called Up By England

Rico Henry called up to represent England Under 19's in summer tour of Mexico.

Preston North End Line Up Bradshaw Bid

Sources suggest £400,000 bid set to be offered by Championship club Preston.

Walsall To Travel To Luton For Pre Season Friendly

Saddlers will travel to Luton Town on Saturday 30th July for a pre season friendly.

Archived Vital Saddlers Articles

Vital Saddlers articles from

Site Journalists

Kev
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Who Will Win League 1 Play-Offs?
Suggested By: Vital Kev
Walsall33%
Barnsley50%
Millwall15%
Bradford2%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Walsall Results (view all)