This weekend, The Poundland Bescot Stadium welcomes Rochdale as we seek to make it back to back wins at home in 4 days!
Rochdale visit us sitting just above the dreaded drop into non-league, situated 22nd in League Two after near-enough a third of the league campaign has elapsed.
Managed by ex-Morecambe and ex-AFC Fylde manager, Jim Bentley, they started the league campaign by going winless for the first nine fixtures, but in more recent times they have picked up and found themselves picking up three league wins so far.
Their squad contains a couple of players with a Walsall FC connection in goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, who played at Wembley for us in the then JPT Final, and striker Devante Rodney who for some reason we signed last January whilst he was injured, but then proceeded to contribute the square root of f**k all when he was back in the squad. It’s not all bad news for Dave though, as he has scored 3 league goals in 15 league appearances so far this season. He would love to stick one or two past us as well, undoubtedly.
Other players in their squad of note are another striker in Scott Quigley, who has 4 goals in 7 games, and midfield general Toumani Diagouraga who signed on a free from Morecambe in the summer.
The last six fixtures The Dale have played have finished as follows:
1st Oct - Doncaster Rovers (H) - Lost 2-1
8th Oct - Newport County (A) - Won 1-0
15th Oct - Barrow (H) - Won 2-1
18th Oct - Salford City (H) (PJT) - Drew 2-2 (Lost 4-2 on pens)
22nd Oct - AFC Wimbledon (H) - Lost 2-1
25th Oct - Tranmere Rovers (A) - Drew 1-1
Onto The Saddlers now, and following a resounding 3-1 victory over Harrogate Town in midweek, gaffer Michael Flynn may have just found his best XI based on the players he has available, by default, as the suspension of Brandon Comley forced him into playing a more attacking option alongside Liam Kinsella which resulted in the best performance we’ve seen for many a game.
Team selection will be interesting for this game, as the aforementioned Comley is back from suspension. Will MF fall to temptation and stick him back in? Will we see the same starting XI? Personally I hope it’s the latter.
One player who should be guaranteed a starting spot after his performance and goal on Tuesday is Liam Gordon who, although early days, looks to be a class above other options we have at LWB, and is starting to show why the boss wanted him in his squad.
This is the second game of the link-up ticket package so hopefully we will see a bumper audience down the ground with a fair few away fans making the trip to make a bit more of an atmosphere, following a literal coach-load only from Harrogate.
This game for me is an opportunity to push on and start climbing the league after many false dawns over the past few seasons. Keep the momentum going, keep the same starting XI (bar injuries occurring), and keep playing as we did in midweek. Do that, and I think we will take the three points with relative ease. This is Walsall though…
How many of you are attending? Have you managed to entice anyone else along using the ticket link-up offer?
Score predictions and thoughts welcome.
Thank you and good night.
- Walsall Win
- Rochdale Win