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!!



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

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Selby Wants Frampton Next

Recent Walsall Articles

Match Highlights - Walsall 4-1 Sheffield United

All the highlights from the Saddlers emphatic victory over Sheffield United.

Walsall 4-1 Sheffield United - Report

Saddlers run riot against league leaders....

BREAKING - Laird Returns On Loan Until End Of Season

Return of the bearded one - Laird is a Saddler until May.

Celtic Youngster Joins Walsall On Loan

Eoghan O'Connell signs on loan until the end of the season

Archived Vital Saddlers Articles

Vital Saddlers articles from

Site Journalists

Kev
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Where Will Walsall Finish?
Suggested By:
Automatic Promotion8%
Play Offs21%
Mid Table Medicority49%
Relegation22%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 27 17 5 5 56 21
2 Scunthorpe 27 16 7 4 55 27
3 Bolton 26 15 5 6 50 16
4 Bradford 27 11 12 4 45 11
5 Rochdale 26 14 3 9 45 9
6 Fleetwood 26 12 7 7 43 10
7 Southend 27 11 9 7 42 5
8 Millwall 26 11 6 9 39 2
9 Bristol Rovers 27 11 6 10 39 -1
10 Peterborough 25 10 8 7 38 8
11 Charlton 26 8 12 6 36 7
12 Wimbledon 26 9 9 8 36 5
13 Oxford 26 9 7 10 34 0
14 Walsall 26 8 10 8 34 -4
15 Port Vale 25 8 7 10 31 -10
16 Northampton 27 8 6 13 30 -7
17 Gillingham 26 8 6 12 30 -9
18 Swindon 27 7 8 12 29 -13
19 MK Dons 25 7 7 11 28 -5
20 Bury 27 7 4 16 25 -12
21 Shrewsbury 27 6 7 14 25 -14
22 Chesterfield 27 7 4 16 25 -17
23 Oldham 25 4 10 11 22 -14
24 Coventry 26 4 9 13 21 -15
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Walsall Results (view all)

Walsall Fixtures (view all)

Jan 21 2017 3:00PM : Bristol Rovers (H)
Sky Bet League One
Jan 28 2017 3:00PM : Bury (a)
Sky Bet League One
Jan 31 2017 7:45PM : Millwall (a)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 4 2017 3:00PM : Northampton Town (H)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 11 2017 3:00PM : Bolton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 14 2017 7:45PM : Scunthorpe United (a)
Sky Bet League One
The Vital Football Members League