Our last game before Christmas, providing we don’t get ‘iced’ off, pits The Saddlers against near-neighbours Crewe Alexandra who head to The Poundland Bescot Stadium for this tie.
Crewe Alexandra arrive in Walsall sitting 17th in League Two with 6 wins from their 19 league games played so far. They are managed by Lee Bell who took charge in November and has a managerial record of P5, W3, D0, L2.
The Railwaymen have struggled to find any consistency this season, hence where they find themselves at the moment, but their squad does contain some good talent. Included in their squad is ex-Saddler loanee, Dan Agyei who has scored 6 goals in 23 appearances this season, striker Courtney Baker-Richardson, who last season was at Newport County, who has 8 goals in 17 appearances this season, and then there is defender Rod McDonald, brother of ex-Saddler, Clayton McDonald, and therefore son of ex-Saddler, Rod McDonald…
Heading into the game, Crewe Alexandra’s last three league fixtures have been:
12th Nov - Colchester United (H) - Won 1-0
19th Nov - Swindon Town (A) - Won 1-0
2nd Dec - Newport County (H) - Lost 2-1
Onto The Saddlers now, and we head into this fixture 8 games unbeaten across all competitions, and with confidence growing within the squad and the supporter base that we can actually have a decent second-half of the season and start to trouble the promotion / play-off positions.
Top-goalscorer Danny Johnson is still here (for now…) and Michael Flynn has said that he would love to keep him with the squad but won’t be held over a barrel when it comes to the fee. How much would you suggest is reasonable to spend? And how much is too much?
On the injury front, Conor Wilkinson is back and raring to go, with the gaffer saying that he is now in a position to make 20-30 minute cameos from the bench to start building him back up for a return to playing 90 minutes at some point in the future. Joe Riley is expected to be back in contention from the New Year onwards, in what will be a positive for everyone involved, and Joss Labadie continues to make progress following an ACL injury. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we will have something resembling a fully fit squad to choose from in the coming weeks, along with any additions we might make in the January transfer window.
The squad seem pretty settled in terms of how we are playing and the results we are gaining, but who would you start in this game? Injury permitting, one player who is sure to start is playmaker Isaac Hutchinson who is starting to show just why Michael Flynn brought him to the club in the summer, with his performances now starting to become more consistent.
Finally, with this being the last game before Christmas Day, allow me to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for reading the previews and your interaction on the match threads.
Here’s hoping for another three points to kickstart the Christmas celebrations. UTS!
- Walsall Win
- Crewe Alexandra Win