4th March 2006
Kevan Broadhurst is hoping for three points in his first home match in charge
Kevan Broadhurst, is hoping for three points but expects a tough game. After saturdays draw at Southend he expressed the feeling thta in some ways it is easier going to places like Southend where there is no expectation, however at home the expectation to win could put increased pressure on the Saddlers. He has more recently stated that he is happy with the application of the first team squad, who have agreed to extra training in an effort to increase fitness and pull ourselves out of the relegation mess we find us in.
From Bournemouth, ex saddler Richard Okelly has stated that he doesn't think AFC Bournemouth will be pulled into a relegation fight. He also praised the efforts of the Bournemaouth players and fans after there 1-1 home draw against Bournemouth on Tuesday. He feels if they can keep creating chances there luck will change.
Walsall Team News:
It will be interesting to see how Kevan Broadhurst plays this game. At Southend the 4-4-2 was more fight than flight, so we may see some more pace and creativity brought into the team.
There will be changes in defence with Ian Roper suspended, so with Westwood still unfit,I would expect Pablo Mills to slot into midfield. Fox could return to left back but Kevan Broadhurst has said he won't play unless 100% fit, if not Grant Smith will remain at full back.
In midfield, we have plenty of options but it remains who will fill the gap left by Mills, although Keates could move over to allow a winger to come in possible that Paul Devlin will start following his suspension. However the game has come to early for Mads Timm.
Up front perm any out of the strikers except Nicholls who is out for six months. Whoever is pick (Devlin upfront perhaps) they will need to improve on previous weeks showings.
Player to watch: Anthony Gerrard
Having settled into the team, he will have added resonsibilty against Bournemouths 17 goal hot shot James Hayter. We will also have a very young defence, and a vert quite back four, so it is time to hear those scouse tones across Bescot, how the defence play against the Bournemouth forwards will be the key to the outcome of this game.
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
Forward James Hayter will be missing partner Steve Fletcher who has a recurrance of a hamstring injury, Captain Neil Young is suspended, whilst WarrenCummings is 50/50 after resumming training following an infection.
Shaun Cooper (achilles),James Oconor (hand), Shaun Maher (foot) are all out.
Player to watch: James Hayter
Whilst former Walsall loanee Andrew Surman would need no introduction, his colleague Jame Hayter is the one to watch. His 17 goals this season proves his ability to put a chance away. It his goals which will most likely keep Bournmouth up. Although Bristol City tried to prise him away in January with 300k bid, given Bournemouths financial problems this may be the last time we see Hayter at Bescot in a Bournemouth shirt.
Match Facts & Stats
Last meeting was Bank holiday monday the 29th August where following the dismisal of Julian Bennett for a reckless tackle in the first half, Walsall performed a rear guard action to hold out for a 0-0 draw.
Bournemouth are showing relegation form at the moment but this isn't any better than ours!! So whilst the heart says we need a win the head says draw. But looking at the weather forecast despite the efforts of the ground staff postponement is a likely outcome.
Sunday 12th March Swansea away