For The Saddlers, September starts with a trip to Valley Parade where we face Bradford City in the quest for 3 points, which is something that has avoided us for a few games.
Bradford City head into the game 10th in League Two, just below us on virtue of having a slightly poorer goal difference, having played 6 games and winning, drawing, and losing 2 of each.
The Bantams are managed by Mark Hughes who up until this appointment had exclusively managed either international teams, or Premier League teams. He hadn’t had a job in management for 4 years, but it’s still a hell of a drop down to this level for him considering the calibre of players he’s used to working with. It remains to be seen whether he is a success, after a fairly unspectacular start to the 22/23 season.
Included in the hosts’ squad are a couple of ex-Saddlers in the form of the much maligned Andy Cook and Emmanuel Osadebe. Cook has started the season well with 3 goals in 6 League Two games, and will be certain to want to put a couple in the back of our net after having a fractious relationship with the Saddlers faithful, whilst Osadebe will be watching from the sidelines for a good while after suffering a leg break just 18 minutes into his Bantams debut in the first league game of the season.
Another player that could cause issue for us is big target man, Vadaine Oliver, who signed on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract with Gillingham. A lot of Saddlers were interested in him during the summer.
Bradford City’s last six fixtures have been:
13th Aug - Newport County (H) - Won 2-0
16th Aug - Colchester United (A) - Lost 1-0
20th Aug - Hartlepool United (A) - Won 3-1
23rd Aug - Blackburn Rovers (H) (CC2) - Lost 2-1
27th Aug - Crewe Alexandra (H) - Drew 0-0
30th Aug - Sheffield Wednesday (H) (PJT) - Won 3-1
Onto The Saddlers now, and we head into this game in a bit of a rut, with no win in the last 6 games across all competitions. This needs to be arrested as soon as to prevent confidence really taking a hit.
Heading into this game it would be fair to suggest that gaffer Michael Flynn doesn’t have too many decisions to make on his starting XI, as the fringe players that got a game in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday didn’t do anything to impress at all. Captain Donervon Daniels was rested for that game as a precaution, with a view to him being available for this fixture, so fingers crossed he makes it.
At the time of writing, there have been no further signings announced to the squad, but with it being the transfer deadline tomorrow I would hope that we have a couple of new faces in the squad to compete for starting berths.
Injury wise, as mentioned above, Donervon Daniels will possibly have a fitness test before the game, but the hopes are that he will be available to play. Other than that, there is nothing new to report at the time of writing.
Given our recent form, and the performance of some of those given a chance on Tuesday night, who would be in your starting XI? For me, Liam Kinsella, Andy Williams, Danny Johnson, Owen Evans & Liam Bennett should all be shoe-ins, but how do you see it?
How many of you are heading up there? It’s not a place I want to go to again unless we are in the playoffs after it being about -8 degrees with the wind chill the last time I went!
How do you see this one panning out?
Safe travels to anyone heading up there and please bring back the 3 points!
- Bradford City Win
- Walsall Win