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Match Previews

Big match preview: Fleetwood v Walsall

8 December 2016

Match Previews

Big match preview: Fleetwood v Walsall

8 December 2016

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Read our in-depth guide ahead of Saturday's league clash with the Saddlers

Fleetwood Town will look to continue their good home form this season as they host Sky Bet League One rivals Walsall on Saturday.

West Midlands-based club Walsall come to Highbury off the back of an impressive 1-0 win away at promotion hopefuls Sheffield United.

The last time Fleetwood faced Walsall they were defeated 3-1, with Devante Cole scoring a consolation goal in the 84th minute.

Last time out

Uwe Rosler’s side battled to a 0-0 draw away at Shrewsbury Town in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

The result meant that they we were still in the hat for last Monday’s draw. If Town beat Paul Hurst’s side at Highbury, they face an away trip to Championship side Bristol City in the New Year.

Walsall last played over a week ago, as they travelled to South Yorkshire to face Chris Wilder’s Blades. They went to Bramhall Lane having not won in five games in the league, yet they managed a surprise 1-0 victory, ending the Blades’ 15 match unbeaten run.

The Saddlers reached the play-off semi-final last season, losing 3-1 on aggregate to eventual play-off winners Barnsley. They haven’t been doing as well this season, as they currently sit 16th in the league.

As for Fleetwood, only goal difference is keeping them out of a play-off place as they currently sit in 8th on 29 points, along with Peterborough United and AFC Wimbledon.

The Cod Army have scored in every game in the league this season, a record only shared by Sky Bet League Two outfit Doncaster Rovers.

Players to watch

The Saddlers’ top scorer Erhun Oztumer currently has eight goals for the season since signing from Peterborough in the summer, once his two-year contract ended.

Amadou Bakayoko got the winner at Bramhall Lane for Walsall, the goal was his seventh for the season.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved a last-minute Billy Sharp penalty against the Blades’ to earn back-to-back clean sheets – the first time this season that the Saddlers have kept consecutive clean sheets. Etheridge hasn’t had three consecutive clean sheets since the back end of 2015.

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