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Walsall v Stevenage - Preview


Banks's Stadium



We finally get back to home soil this weekend as we welcome Graham Westley and his Stevenage side.

We have only played 5 games at WS1 out of 13 and thats a good thing when you look at our home form. Hopefully we can finally get back to winning ways tomorrow.

Vital Quotes:

Dean Smith 'Now we turn our attention to the challenge that Stevenage will present to us. Looking at their results it would appear that they have made a slow start to the season, but they have won their last two games and I watched them beat MK Dons in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

On that occasion, they did well in the second half and deserved the victory. They then followed this up in their last game by beating Brentford.

They have a good squad of players, so it will be a tough game, there is no question of that. They will come here with a bit of momentum and keen to make life as difficult as possible for us.'

Graham Westley 'One by one and bit by bit we've pulled the lads together and they're finally getting their heads around my vision of what winning looks like, and starting to believe and buy into the system they're being asked to work in.

'We will treat Walsall as another opponent, and every opponent in our mind will come second to us, providing we are on our game'

Walsall Team News:

Walsall welcome back Milan Lalkovic who is back from International duty and could give a second home debut to Julian Gray who came on a sub last week.

Player to watch: Andy Taylor

This pick gets harder every week with us not knowing which striker or winger Deano will go for, so I will go for our goalscorer last weekend and probably our player of the season so far....Andy Taylor.

Over the years we have been gifted with some quality left backs, Aranalde and Danny Fox to mention two but I feel Andy Taylor is one of the best left backs this club has had.

His goal last weekend was just as good as a Leighton Baines free kick and with Taylor in the side you will always get 110% from him. Mr reliable.

Stevenage Team News:

Stevenage could give a debut to new signing Dean Parrett as they look to build on their victory over Brentford.

Midfielders Michael Doughty and Luke Freeman both return from suspension, but striker Darius Charles (ankle) and defender Ben Chorley (calf) are out.

Player to watch: Francois Zoko

Zoko has scored 4 goals in 3 games following his switch from Notts County last month. Zoko is the type of striker I always felt we could have done with and with him in prolific form we will need to be on our guard tomorrow.

Match Facts & Stats

We have face Stevenage just 4 times in our history - At home we are undefeated, having won and drawn against them in recent years. An individual goal from Jamie Paterson gave Walsall the win on New Years Day last year.

Stevenage have lost the last 3 games on the road, having only one once on their travels since the start of the season.

Walsall on the other hand have gone four games without a win and have only won one home game, that came on the opening day of the season.

Ref Watch:

The man in the middle is Andrew Madley from West Yorkshire. He has refereed three Walsall games and in those games we are yet to conceed - we drew 0-0 against Hartlepool and Rochdale, plus a 1-0 win against Colchester. Madley is a very lenient referee having only handed 1 red card in the 12 games he has officiated this season.

Match Prediction:

Not to discredit Stevenage, but this is a game we must be winning. If we really want to establish ourselves in the top 10 this season then we must be beating Stevenage as I feel they will occupy the relegation places come the end of the season. I will go for a 2-0 win.

Next Fixtures:

22.10.13 - Swindon v WALSALL
22.10.13 - Crewe v STEVENAGE

Date:Friday October 18 2013
Time: 12:57PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 45 29 10 6 97 44
2 Bolton 45 24 11 10 83 29
3 Fleetwood 45 23 12 10 81 21
4 Scunthorpe 45 23 10 12 79 24
5 Bradford 45 20 18 7 78 19
6 Millwall 45 19 13 13 70 8
7 Southend 45 19 12 14 69 16
8 Rochdale 45 19 11 15 68 9
9 Oxford 45 19 9 17 66 11
10 Bristol Rovers 45 18 12 15 66 -1
11 Peterborough 45 17 11 17 62 3
12 MK Dons 45 15 13 17 58 -1
13 Walsall 44 14 16 14 58 -3
14 Charlton 45 13 18 14 57 4
15 Wimbledon 45 13 17 15 56 -3
16 Northampton 45 14 10 21 52 -13
17 Oldham 45 12 16 17 52 -13
18 Shrewsbury 45 13 12 20 51 -15
19 Bury 45 13 11 21 50 -11
20 Gillingham 45 12 13 20 49 -20
21 Port Vale 44 11 12 21 45 -26
R Swindon 45 11 11 23 44 -19
R Coventry 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Chesterfield 45 9 10 26 37 -34
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