Saddlers take on Pirates
saturday 30th December 2006
3pm kick off
Our last game of 2006, a year which has ended on a high but went wrong from the same fixture last year. A 2-0 win over Blackpool signalled the start of a decline into league two. In 2007 we must not take our foot off the gas, in fact on saturday it would be nice to walk all over 'the gas'
DD has shown his concerns over the Bescot pitch and the recent and forecast weather means it may well cut up even more. This really does mean our passing game may well struggle to get going.
As for Tommy Wright DD has told everyone an appeal is a waste of time, read into that what you will.
Walsall Team News:
New signings Par Cedarqvist and Geordie Lyall await in the wings for January. Alan Picken is close to been considered but Anthony Gerrard must sit out due to FA rules over head injuries, so Dann and Roper are likely to start with Westwood and Taylor favorites for full back spots.
In central midfield we have a problem but injuries are easing according to the press, so Dobson will claim one spot with Craig Pead, although if passed fit Dean Keates or Darren Wrack may stake a claim. Out wide Fox and Wright are likely to start.
Up front in the absence of Tommy Wright, Martin Butler may well line up alongside Hector Sam or Tony Bedeau.
Player to watch: Martin Butler
Never stops running and working for the team, he was Motm for many on Boxing Day. Yet he has not scored since September 19th, that goal must come soon.
Bristol Rovers Team News:
No real injury worries have been reported from Bristol but a change in formation maybe the order of the day. As having watched over teams stiffle our play by flooding the midfield we may well see more of the same.
Player to watch: Stuart Nicholson
The young striker wears the 19 shirt and will try and score from any distance. He will be no stranger to many Saddlers fans who will have heard of his exploits at WBA.
Some saddlers fans were touting his name as a loan signing for the Saddlers before his switch to Rovers.
Make no mistake at this level Stuart is capable of scoring for fun.
Whilst his strike partner Richard Walker has hit 12 so far this season
Match Facts & Stats
last 6 results of this fixture
Football League One Walsall 2-1 Bristol Rovers 28-04-2001
Football League One Walsall 3-3 Bristol Rovers 20-03-1999
Football League Trophy Walsall 2-2 Bristol Rovers 08-12-1998
Football League One Walsall 0-1 Bristol Rovers 26-12-1997
Football League One Walsall 1-0 Bristol Rovers 03-12-1996
Football League One Walsall 1-1 Bristol Rovers 26-08-1995
In Head to Head contests Bristol Rovers have the most wins but at Home Walsall shade it.
Neither side is setting the world alight with there football at the present time and high winds and a sticky pitch means it might not be a classic, but I can see Walsall grinding out a home win.
Peterborough hope for revenge for there 5-0 drubbing earlier in the season when we face Keith Alexanders men at London Road on New Years day 3pm kick off.