Walsall V Bury..Party time
Sat 21st April 2007
3pm Kick Off
With promotion already gained there will be a party atmosphere in the stands. However on the pitch it will be much more serious. Bury have desperate need for the points, a defeat and other results going against them would put them too close to relegation for comfort. For Walsall the concern is going for the title, the question will be do the players really believe or is it just talk. Hartlepool play at home to Notts County tonight, if the Poolies fail to pick up three points then that might just give the Saddlers the opening they need, and I would expect them to go for the kill.
Pat's on the back and talk of next season has been the order of the day. However DD is expecting a hard test as Bury have to fight for there league status. They gave Swindon a run for there money last week.
DD has also offered a familiar warning that they cannot afford to take their next two opponents, relegation-threatened Bury and Wrexham, lightly.
"It`s been a bit of a long haul but I think that over the course of the season we have arguably been the most consistent team in the division," he said.
"In the first half of the season I thought we were outstanding and then the second half has become an increasing struggle at times, but that has given us the chance to show some of the different qualities that the team possess.
"The next two games are going to be incredibly difficult. Obviously we`re very happy to have achieved our main aim, which was promotion, but we still have things to achieve and Bury gave us a really good test up there.
"They have lost some games recently but even the games they`ve lost have only been by the odd goal so they will be tough.
"Then we have Wrexham, who have some very good players and I don`t understand for the life of me why they are down there.
"The next two home games are going to be very difficult, starting with Bury tomorrow."
Bury manager Chris Casper has been speaking of his belief that the Shakers will come away from Bescot with all three points...
He said: 'We've showed that we can match them in the previous game (Walsall won 2-1 in December) and we were very unlucky not to get anything from that.
'We've won some important games away from home this season, like Boston and Shrewsbury.
'That's a good indicator about a team and it shows the strength of character that the lads have. We'll give ourselves a chance down there and we can get a result.'
To Read more of DD'S comments CLICK HERE
To read more DD comments CLICK HERE
Walsall Team News:
Craig Pead and Anthony Gerrard both left the field last saturday to add to our defensive worries. Long term injuries have already robbed the back four of Roper and Dann, whilst Picken didn't feature in the reserves however it is unclear if this is another set back or a precaution as he might be needed saturday.
In midfield Kevin Cooper looked off the pace and must now have a question mark over his fitness, whilst Kevin Harper is playing despite carrying a groin injury.
Upfront Butler has noticable tried in recent games but I expect he will start with Benjamin, with Sam on the bench but with Cederqvist now fit he may come in for one last chance to earn a contract.
Otherwise a clean bill of health so the team will be as close to last saturdays as possible.
Player to watch: The Team
It isn't about individuals on saturday.....Walsall FC THE TEAM PLEASE TAKE A BOW.
Bury Team News:
Bury who will be without midfielder Brian Barry-Murphy for the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury travel to Bescot in hope.
The team may well be the same as the one that ran Swindon close last saturday with Andy Bishop and Glynn Hurst up front. In goal veteran keeper Andy Warrington from Doncaster will keep Alan Fetis on the bench. Otherwise the team which is lacking in confidence and self belief will be unchanged.
As for support a crowd of 2401 saw last saturdays defeat, included in this was 560 Swindon fans so of the remaining Shakers fans how many will travel in there hour of need.
Player to watch: Andy Bishop
Andy a product of the Walsall set up returns to Bescot for the first time. No doubt he will want to prove a point. In last saturdays paper carried an interview where he refused to rulle out a return to Bescot...a chance to show case his talenets then
To read more about Andy Bishop CLICK HERE
Match Facts & Stats
Of the previous games between Bury and Walsall things are fairly even, with Walsall wining 17 and Bury 19 with 9 draws, one of those draws gaining the Saddlers promotion under Chris Nichol.
Looking at the last six results of this fixture it does give the Shakers hope..
last 6 results of this fixture
Football League One Walsall 1-2 Bury 10-02-2001
Football League One Walsall 3-1 Bury 28-09-1996
Football League Two Walsall 0-1 Bury 29-10-1994
Football League Two Walsall 0-1 Bury 27-12-1993
Football League Two Walsall 4-3 Bury 15-09-1992
English Division 3 (old) Walsall 2-2 Bury 21-04-1990
However they have lost there last 3 without scoring, having previously looked like they had turned the corner with a worthy 3-1 win at Shrewsbury.
We have a ref with a reputation and once even white boots.... To read about Mr Kettle CLICK HERE
As long as the team are still focused then we will win, if we drop our guard then Bury's need is greater than ours and we could be on the wrong end of a shock result.
Another relegation threatened team Wrexham visit Bescot net saturday