Walsall v Torquay preview
Saturday 4th November 2006
3pm kick off
The result of this game should be a no brainer but football doesn't work like that, and in many ways this has got shock written all over it.
Torquay are a club who are been torn apart by a poor sequence of results. They have gone 585 minutes without a goal, including 5 league games and one trophy game. There last goals were at MK Dons where a two first half strikes were over turned by three second half MK Dons goals to start the run off. It is not that they have not been creating chances it just they have not had the luck in front of goal. All this has brought out the knives for manager Ian Atkins, who is under attack from some quaters for his direct long ball style.
Add to this Walsall no goals conceeded in eight at home and you can see that the law of averages says Torquay must score, and if they do then perhaps they will continue there run of been some what of a jinx team.
Whilst there has been talk of positive vibes out of Bescot. Dickie Doshes opposite number Ian Atkins has been talking up his sides chances
In fact, Atkins is relishing the chance for Torquay to break into 'Fortress Bescot'.
He said: 'The law of averages alone says we're going to score soon, and when we do, we'll score two or three, because we're capable of doing it.
'I've not been in a run like this in my career as a manager, but I've been involved with far worse sides than this.
'We're not a struggling side, we're just one at the moment which needs a break.
'This is part of football. You've got to take it on the chin and get on with it.'
Walsall Team News:
Almost a full squad to pick from. Alan Picken didn't play in the reserves so one suspects he will need a couple of games to get match sharpness back, as does Alex Nicholls although he may feature on the bench. As will long term absentee Darren Wrack. Despite last weeks misfire I doubt there will be too many changes. Although Scott Dann or Chris Westwood may come in to replace Anthony Gerrard who has picked up an ankle knock in training, unconfirmed reports suggest a layoff of a number of weeks on that one.
Player to watch: Tony Bedeau
Torquay fans know all about Tony Bedeau, whilst Walsall fans are still waiting for the blue touch paper to be lite and the fire works to begin.
Tony can expect to start on the bench, however if he gets on he will be wanting to show the Torquay fans what they are missing and give the saddlers a glimpse of what is to come.
Torquay Utd Team News:
There is trouble at mill, torquay have fans up in arms over tactics and rumours of player unrest. With unconfirmed reports of a player saying he made a mistake to move to plainmoor in the summer. Darren Garner has been released this week. Striker Leo Fortune West will return to Rushden after saturdays game having been recalled. it is unclear what his attitude to saturdays game will be.
In the side will be Southampton loanee Kyle Critchell who made his league debut last week in the home draw to Shrewsbury.
Player to watch: Nathan Abbey
The goalkeeper has been under the spotlight following a couple of slips which have turn draws into defeats. Despite been a solid keeper the Gulls fans will be hoping for no more mistakes.
Match Facts & Stats
last 6 results of this fixture
Football League One Walsall 1-1 Torquay United 02-04-2005
English FA Cup Walsall 8-4 Torquay United 12-12-1995
Football League Two Walsall 1-0 Torquay United 18-02-1995
Football League Two Walsall 1-2 Torquay United 14-08-1993
Football League Two Walsall 2-2 Torquay United 10-04-1993
English Division 4 Walsall 2-2 Torquay United 25-08-1990
Before the 1995 season torquay were consided a jinx to many Walsall fans.
Walsall wins draws Torquay United wins
League 22 15 31
FA Cup 1 1 1
Total 23 16 2
Torquays have lost there last five away games,
Torquay 0 - 0 Shrewsbury
Stockport 1 - 0 Torquay
Torquay 0 - 2 Accrington
Wycombe 2 - 0 Torquay
Torquay 0 - 1 Notts County
MK Dons 3 - 2 Torquay
Everything points to a home win with ease, and if we are to get promotion three points is a must. However I see a strange scrappy tight game and hopefully a 2-1 wn for us ,only because I can't bear the thought of losing.
FA Cup at Macclesfield, moved to Monday due SKY cameras.