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17 November 2018 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Fleetwood Town v Walsall

16 November 2018

Fleetwood Town welcome Walsall to Highbury Stadium this Saturday afternoon (12pm kick-off) as both teams look to get back under way in Sky Bet League One.

The Cod Army enter the game as favourites having won two games in their last five, compared to the Saddlers who have only managed one win in their last five league matches. Both teams are alongside each other in the table, with Town currently sitting 12th, and Walsall in 11th position.

With two cup games on the bounce, Joey Barton was able to rotate his team selection accordingly, as Town progressed through to the second round of the FA Cup after beating Alfreton Town 4-1. This now sees Fleetwood face Guiseley in the Second Round of the competition. More news available here on the cup tie against the National League North side.

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton said…

"It's good to get back to business which is the league, good to get back at home and try and build on two home victories, although it doesn’t feel like we’ve got any continuity because they’ve been spaced out over about 15 months.

“Every game from this point in is a game that will see our strongest side available, so that was the key message of last week for me, certainly off the back of the defeat on Tuesday.

“Now is the time to see if we are contenders or pretenders, as we’ve challenged the group on that because every game now is either a league game or an FA Cup game. We have no distractions of the League Cup or the Checkatrade Trophy.

“I watched them against Coventry at the weekend. They're a good side who play 4-4–2, that transitions in to a 4-2-4 at times, but aside all of this, it's a team we should beat if we execute our game plan."

Walsall manager Dean Keates said…

[On the game being shown live on TV] “As a player it shouldn’t make one bit of difference if I’m honest. I wouldn’t expect it to make any difference. It’s a game and we have to go and do our best to win it. We will see what happens on the day, but just because it’s on Sky I expect no difference from my players.”

[Speaking after the FA Cup win against Coventry] “In the games we have lost, we have created opportunities, not taken them and been punished. There are bits that we need to learn from but against Coventry we showed great character. We went 2-0 up. We got pegged back to 2-2. But after conceding that second goal we went on to win it and were the better team. We will draw on that.”

Last five results in Sky Bet League One (latest result from left):

Fleetwood Town: L W L L W (Currently 12th on 23 points)

Walsall: L L W L L (Currently 11th on 25 points)

Last time the two sides met…

Fleetwood Town took all three points against Walsall the last time they visited Highbury, on the final day of the 2017/18 season, after winning 2-0 with two goals in the first half from Ash Hunter and Paddy Madden.

Town will be looking to replicate the result of this fixture, with a win taking the Cod Army above Walsall in the Sky Bet League One.

One to Watch

Andy Cook is the Saddlers ‘One to Watch’ and with over a third of Walsall’s league goals so far, with two in his last three games, the striker seems to be the man that Fleetwood should aim to stop on Saturday.

The Englishman began his career at Carlisle where he was shipped out on loan to Workington and Barrow before permanently signing for National League side, Barrow in 2011. He continued to ply his trade in the National League after signing for Grimsby Town the following season.

After two seasons with Grimsby, the now 28-year-old, returned to Barrow where he would find his most prolific goal-scoring form yet, scoring 47 goals in 87 league appearances over two seasons.

Following this stint, he earned himself a move to Tranmere Rovers where he continued this fine form, being directly involved in 65 goals (51 goals, 14 assists) in 89 appearances. Cook won the National League Golden Boot award and ended his time at Tranmere with a 2-1 victory in the play-off final.

He joined the Saddlers in July 2018, at the end of his contract with Tranmere.

Betting Preview

The Cod Army enter the game as favourites, having not lost to Walsall at Highbury since 2016. Town are priced at 11/10, with a draw available at 23/10.

Dean Keates’ side are currently 5/2 to win away from home, with a win putting an end to their back-to-back defeats in the Sky Bet League One.

Paddy Madden scored a brace in the FA Cup against Alfreton and got what proved to be the winner against Blackpool, can the Irishman continue to get goals… he is 5/1 to score first on Saturday.

For Fleetwood to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, you can get odd of 2/1, with more odds available here.

Please gamble responsibly. All odds are subject to change.

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Match Reports

Report: Stalemate at Highbury as Town held by Walsall

17 November 2018

Fleetwood Town drew 0-0 against Walsall in Saturday’s Sky Bet League One fixture at Highbury, keeping their first clean sheet at home this season.

Jason Holt had Fleetwood’s best chance in a tight first half, with Russell Martin heading wide at the other end for The Saddlers. 

Paddy Madden and substitute Ched Evans threatened in the second half, with Walsall keeper Liam Roberts also saving brilliantly to deny Ross Wallace from inside the area.

Walsall had the first chance of the game in the seventh minute, after Nathan Sheron gave a foul away in a dangerous area just outside the 18-yard-box. The free-kick was hit hard and low around the wall, with Alex Cairns equal to the ball after getting down low to make the save from Josh Ginnelly.

Walsall continued their quick start as Jon Guthrie almost capitalised from Ginnelly’s corner, but his header was narrowly wide at the back post.

It took 14 minutes for Fleetwood’s first chance to arrive. After some great build up play, Sheron was able to cut it back from the byline to Jason Holt who was just arriving into the back, unfortunately his shot was over the bar. 

The Saddlers came knocking again in the 17th minute, as a cross swung in again by Ginnelly missed all the bodies in the box and bounced just past the back post, which was carefully watched by Cairns.

Fleetwood Town grew into the game and broke quickly down the left, midway through the first half, as James Husband ran at the Walsall backline before playing Hunter through, who returned the favour with a back heeled pass but Husband’s cross was caught comfortably by Roberts.

Husband’s next call of action was 32 minutes in, as the left back made a great recovery challenge, at the back post, to deny Zeli Ismail a chance to get a shot off at goal.

The resulting corner was short and picked up by Ginnelly who whipped one in, but Martin couldn’t keep his header down as it flew over the target.

Seven minutes before the break, Wes Burns chased down a loose ball before some brilliant individual skill, allowing him to pull the ball back to Hunter but he missed the chance to get a shot away.

The game was quite open now with Fleetwood having a spell of better chances, and another came during the 40th minute when Lewie Coyle forced Roberts into making a save after his shot was low and hard across goal. Town continued to pile on the pressure, a minute later, when Bolger’s attempt meant another save from Roberts was needed.

It was all square going in at the break but the Cod Army came out stronger with a chance after two minutes. Ross Wallace almost capitalised to get the opener with a magnificent volley at the back post from eight yards, but it was saved by Roberts.

Evans was subbed on after 59 minutes had been played and almost made an instant impact just three minutes later but couldn’t get his shot away as the ball dropped to him, although this led to a great chance for Hunter who’s low shot was blocked.

The first booking of the afternoon came in the 73rd minute for an off-the-ball challenge by Martin. The resulting free kick, taken by Wallace, was hit softly into the palms of Roberts.

Walsall responded, three minutes later, with their first dangerous attack of the half. Ginnelly was able to find the space to take two shots, left of the 18-yard-box, but both were bravely blocked by Town’s backline.

The final actions of the game came in the 87th minute, as Walsall caused a goalmouth scramble in Fleetwood’s box as the ball fizzed across the line, leaving Highbury on edge, but the ball was eventually collected by Cairns.

So a point for Fleetwood, and a first clean sheet of the season at Highbury. Next up, a trip to Plymouth next Saturday.

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