Fleetwood Town (A) 17th Nov, 12.00 noon


"I wonder why things go the way they do,
Why people lie and break a heart in two;
I wonder why things go the way they do."

(Fleetwood Mac)

A Saddlers’ game broadcast live on TV is certainly a rare event, but that’s the prospect for this Saturday’s 12.00 noon kick-off at Fleetwood’s compact Highbury ground. The Cod Army are only one place below us in the League One table, and their goal difference exactly mirrors ours with figures of 19-24 (Walsall) and 24-19 (Fleetwood Town). Manager Joey Barton may not always have had a playing style that was appealing, but his squad has collected some notable scalps this season including away wins at Scunthorpe United (0-5) and Doncaster Rovers (0-4) - they also held Sunderland to a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Paddy Madden is their leading goalscorer with 8 to his name, closely followed by Ched Evans (on loan from Sheffield United) with 6. Fleetwood’s League One form:-

Oct 6 Doncaster Rovers (A) Won 0-4
Oct 13 Shrewsbury Town (H) Won 2-1
Oct 20 Portsmouth (A) Lost 1-0
Oct 23 Peterborough United (A) Lost 1-0
Oct 27 Blackpool (H) Won 3-2
Nov 3 Gillingham (A) Lost 3-0

Dean Keates will be able to revert to his first choice starting XI after resting a few players for the EFL Trophy game against Port Vale. It’s probably still too soon to welcome Joe Edwards back, but the news that he is in full training is very welcome. Despite our apparent slump after being comfortably in the play-off zone earlier this season, it should be noted that 3 points from this match will see us right up there in the mix again.

Prediction? As always, very hard to say with any confidence. I shall be many thousands of feet up en route to the Costa del Sol, but I’ll beam my encouragement from a great height to see a Walsall win … 0-1 with an Andy Cook scuff shot. Ched Evans to be red-carded early in the second half.



“Fleetwood Town? " Haven’t they changed their name to " Joey Barton’s Fleetwood ?”


Not according to their official website, or even Wiki…

Mind you, next season could be a different matter altogether!


Sky seems to be a bit premature,then. That’s all they’re ever called. At least with “Paul Merson’s Walsall,” Merson had an outstanding playing career. Apart from his elbows,what was noteworthy about Barton?


Oh he had bags of quality when it came to bringing the game into disrepute, i.e. Being jailed for assault on a drunken night out with mates, stubbing a cigar out in a team mates eye, dropping his shorts at opposing fans, storming out after being dropped, suspended by clubs for internal problems.The list goes on! Pure quality! Some might say a lovable rogue!


I beg to differ … Nobby Stiles was a lovable rogue as a player, and I can think of several ex-Saddlers who would fit into that category (Bill “Chopper” Guttridge for one). Barton, however, always seemed to come across as a thug. Mind you, wasn’t there a connection with Paul Merson in the form of gambling?


I will go for a 1-1.


0-2. It’d be nice to keep up with the play off pack.


Yeah, a surprise victory and some much needed momentum. 2-1 to the Saddlers.


I wasn’t really feeling this one before I saw that 3-0 loss to Gills. I’ll go for a tentative 1-0 to Walsall. But a draw wouldn’t be the end of the world in what will basically be two mid table teams going head to head.

Ched Evans has a great record at this level though so that is always dangerous.


I think Barton is an interesting choice of manager. He was actually quite a decent player, and has shown himself to be quite intelligent with an independent mind. His baggage is down to the fact that he is prone to acting independently of that mind.

No idea how to call this one, I have always thought Paddy Madden is excellent at this level, so I am going to let my heart rule my head and go for a 2-2 draw.


Pretty sure Evans is injured, he didn’t play in their cup tie last weekend.

Think I say this every week but they have some decent strikers even if he is out, Paddy Madden, Ashley Hunter, Chris Long, Connor McAleny and Bobby Grant all options for them, a fair few of those scored v Walsall in the past.

Relevant to say it as the backline just dosen’t inspire confidence atm, Fitzwater must start I think and see if he can gel more with Martin than Guthrie has done so far.

Will go for 1-1 which in the current run would be decent.


Leave Guthrie out? No way in my view. If Fitzwater is back Martin should be rested. He clearly isn’t match fit.


Absolute bonus if so! As you say they do have some decent replacements though.


I really haven’t seen much from Fitzwater this season to be honest. He was dreadful in the U21 Reserve cup in the week and I think he’s been the biggest liability in the back four.

Good player. Huge Potential. I just don’t think he’s in the same form he was for us at the end of last season.


Knowing our fans and their unforgiving nature, it has an Eric cantona episode written all over it :rofl:. They will find some way of winding him up. As for the result another loss from me, but I would love us to come away with something. Uts


I’ll be watching here.


1-2 for me.


Team for tomorrow? I think it will be the same as Cov but I personally would go 4-2-3-1







I confess I haven’t been keeping up-to-date … is Ferrier injured?


He played in the Checkatrade Trophy so I doubt it