"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."
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.