"Caesar ad sum iam forte,
Granted it’s still at the whispering stage but this season is beginning to evolve into one of the Saddlers’ great escapes, and it could even be achieved without having to rely on substantial points deductions imposed on other clubs. Such is the tight grouping of teams in the lower reaches of League One that not only did 3 points last weekend propel us up to 16th place, but another 3 points against Portsmouth could see us in the top half of the table!!
When we played at Fratton Park in November Portsmouth were riding high at the top of the League One table, but a dip in form coupled with success from the likes of Luton Town now sees Pompey holding what looks like a safe play-off place. They also have another item on their plate in the shape of the EFL Trophy final at the end of this month, against Sunderland. We will naturally welcome ex-Saddler Craig MacGillivray in the hope that he and his colleagues will head South empty-handed after the game. Two other connections between the clubs concern Portsmouth’s “Hall of Fame”, which includes Steve Claridge and Paul Merson among its nominated members. Current League One form for Portsmouth:-
9 Feb Plymouth Argyle (A) Drew 1-1
16 Feb Southend United (A) Drew 3-3
19 Feb Bristol Rovers (H) Drew 1-1
23 Feb Barnsley (H) Drew 0-0
2 Mar Bradford City (H) Won 5-1
9 Mar Charlton Athletic (A) Lost 2-1
Andy Cook will be an interested spectator as he psyches himself up for possible selection for the Sunderland trip on Saturday (and you can bet he will be up for that!). Having said that, the performances we’ve seen from Walsall since his early bath at home to Bradford City don’t necessarily guarantee him a starting place, top scorer or not. Much of the credit for the turnaround in Saddlers’ form should surely be attributed to the arrival of Martin O’Connor, with special mention of the briefings behind closed doors at half-time!!
With back-to-back clean sheets and on an unbeaten run of 3 League One games, it’s tempting to forecast “more of the same”, but Portsmouth do represent a serious challenge and manager Kenny Jackett is under no illusions as to what’s expected of him by the club’s American owners. There is also the traditional Walsall mindset that just waits for the current bubble to burst…after all, we’ve been here before, haven’t we?
Prediction? More than happy with a 1-1 draw, thank you very much. Joe Edwards with the kind of screamer that would have probably snapped the crossbar had it been a couple of inches lower.
Just purchased my ticket for tomorrow night , can’t believe it is at CAT A game to add another pound on .
I know its only a pound but how the hell is this a CAT A game not like Portsmouth will bring 3.5 thousand, or that we’ll sell out the home ends .
Rant over looking forward to the game and hope we carry on with the same amount of commitment UTS
I think we can win this…1-0 to the Saddlers!!!
Pompey came with over 2k last season and that was an Easter Friday game, think they had most of the community stand although could be wrong.
Going for promotion so they’ll certainly sell out behind the goal at the very least.
Interesting game, would’ve said a certain away win just 10 days ago but they do seem to be bottling going up a fair bit looking at some of those results, not beating Bristol Rovers at home for instance.
They were also 3 up at Southend and drew that. Think we had a Pompey fan on here before the home game so interested what he thinks.
Exactly , on a Bank holiday not an evening match !
But i get your point a possibility of a large attendance which just smacks of making a few quid off a larger than normal away following and ■■■■ the home fans …again
The whole ‘Cat A’ malarkey is inconsistent clap trap. Pleased it’s being dropped for next season (allegedly)
Nice flattering photo of Mr Scarr !!
2-1 win 5104 in attendance
Edwards and Guthrie
Weem on a roll
My heart tells me 1-0 win to us, my head says yes Pompy are not firing on all cylinders right now but a 0-2 to them.
I hope my heart is right. We certainly have hope now which wasn’t present a few weeks ago.
Pompey are really struggling away from home at the moment but we all know that if they do click again they will have more than enough to put us to the sword. League positions say an easy win for them but the current form is with us, to survive I think we are going to need a shock win against either Portsmouth, Barnsley or Sunderland and I believe this game gives us the best opportunity.
Going for a backs to the wall 1-0 Walsall with a Joe Edwards thunderbolt
Strangely optimistic about this one. 2-1 to Walsall.
7-0 Walsall. Individually wrapped pies to be placed on all seats. Mysteriously, the filling is the temperature of s nuclear reactor while the pastry case is still hard frozen.
Mmm I’m beginning to worry about you @Exile…
Can’t decide if a 1 nil win, bar rattling, goal line clearances or back to reality with a 3 nil defeat and right back in it with a few sides around us playing each other. If the Fleetwood 2nd half performance comes out then I’m definitely favouring the 1 nil win.
We should be more confident in our defending after the last 2 clean sheets.Feeling positive can’t wait for kick off time 2-0 to the saddlers . Scarr and Gordon with the goals . UTS
Keep it on the deck, and cause them some bother with our running.
They didn’t really get out of 1st gear to beat us at Fratton Park. We didn’t register a shot on target if I recall correctly. But if our improvement at set pieces, both for and against is sustained then we’ve a good chance of upsetting the odds, which aren’t as massively against us as they could have been.
Love for us to put a spanner in Kenny Jacket’s works. They ain’t getting out of this division in any case. Looks like Luton, Barnsley and Sunderland all day with one of the later winning the playoffs.
7-1 with the half-time entertainment rained off.
Well i have been brave enough to jeopardise my standing in the prediction league, so i will stand by it, 1-0 to the saddlers, Gordon with a worldy from 30 yards
Any club that has potential to bring 1k + away fans on any time of the day is put as Cat A, club even admitted they did it for Bristol Rovers simply as it was on Boxing day!
One I don’t get actually is the Sloppies always being Cat A as their numbers here are always poor.
Anyway hopefully the categorization will be scrapped next season as the club have said.
Earlier this season they couldn’t stop winning away, but recently that form has slipped and so has their top spot rating, despite that they are a real threat to any relegation threatened team.
Not as confident about this one, the weather is set to be horrific with lashing rain so our ground will be a quagmire which may help us.
We desperately need a Fleetwood second half performance if we are to avoid a defeat so I predict a 1-1 draw, heart hopes for a 1-0 win.