September ends with the visit of Bristol Rovers to the Banks’s Stadium for a bottom of the table clash that sees 19th play 22nd.
Bristol Rovers, also known as The Gas, are managed by the enigmatic Joey Barton and have not had a good start to their own season, with 2 wins, 1 draw, and 5 defeats to their name after 8 games.
Many expected The Gas to be challenging towards the top end of the league this season, and having bolstered their ranks with a lot of decent players for this level it is suprising to see them struggling as much as they are. One of their deadline day signings, the well-travelled Leon Clarke came on and scored on his debut recently, but ironically appears to now be injured for a sustained period of time with a hamstring injury (imagine the uproar if we had signed him as some wanted!).
Bristol Rovers last six fixtures
21st Aug - Exeter City (A) - Lost 4-1
28th Aug - Barrow (A) - Drew 1-1
31st Aug - Cheltenham Town (H) (PJT) - Won 2-0
4th Sept = Crawley Town (H) - Won 1-0
11th Sept - Hartlepool United (A) - Lost 1-0
18th Sept - Leyton Orient (H) - Lost 3-1
As for The Saddlers we come into this game on the back of a late defeat to Newport County, losing 2-1 and by a far shorter distance than we might have if Carl Rushworth wasn’t in our goal.
Early team news is that Joss Labadie is out (serving his last game of a three game suspension), with Rory Holden and Conor Wilkinson both still injured. A note of concern for us is that Liam Kinsella appears to have gone off injured in our previous game, with more news on the severity of this to come this week. Fingers crossed it isn’t a bad one.
What do you think our starting XI should be for this game?
What are your predictions?
Can we turn this season around before it’s too late, and actually ‘give it a go’ as LP said we would?
Let us know.
As an aside to this game, straight after it there are four of us who are walking 66 miles for Acorns Childrens Hospice, leaving the Acorns Walsall site at 6pm. If anyone is at a loose end and wants to see us off from there you are more than welcome to come down.
If anyone would like to donate to the effort - Rob Harvey is fundraising for Acorns Children's Hospice Trust
- Walsall Win
- Bristol Rovers Win