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Match Previews

Walsall Preview

27 March 2015

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The Spireites return to the home comforts of the Proact Stadium hoping to defeat Walsall and keep alive their Sky Bet League 1 play-off challenge.

With Spireites manager Paul Cook labelling the game crucial, he will be hoping for a similar response from his side as in his side's last home match, the 3-0 win over Gillingham. 

Team Info 

With goalkeeper Aaron Chapman on the sidelines for the foreseeable future with an ankle injury, new loan signing Jon Flatt is likely to go straight into the squad following his arrival from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Spireites welcome back striker Byron Harrison after he missed the last two games due to a family bereavement, and while fellow striker Armand Gnanduillet has returned to the club after his loan spell at Oxford United he is not eligible for the match on Saturday.

Striker Tom Bradshaw remains touch and go for the contest, having limped out of Walsall's Wembley date last weekend. Bradshaw scored the only goal when Chesterfield visited the Banks's Stadium earlier in the season and would be a big loss for the visitors if his hamstring strain kept him sidelined.

The Saddlers will arrive at the Proact Stadium without attacker Romaine Sawyers who is away with St Kitts and Nevis as they attempt to qualify for the World Cup, while Rico Henry and Amadou Bakayoko are also missing through injury.

Form Guide

The Spireites have nine games to make up the five points between themselves and the play-offs, though they do have the advantage of a game in hand over most of the league, a three-point opportunity that will come in Tuesday night's match at Bradford City.

Last time out the Spireites dominated the match but went down to a 1-0 loss at Peterborough United, and will quickly need to re-find their feet to get their top six hopes back on track.

Chesterfield will be hoping that their Saturday opponents will be suffering from a Wembley hangover after their first-ever trip to the home of English football ended in defeat to League One leaders Bristol City last Sunday.

In the league the Saddlers are still not out of relegation trouble, sitting four points out of the bottom four having picked up just a point from their last three league outings.

From the Dugout

Ahead of the match Cook spoke to Spireites Player about the contest that awaits his side, knowing that gaining three points from the Saddlers will be far from easy.

"Walsall have earned a lot of plaudits over the last year - it’s mainly down to the manager and deservedly so," he said. "They have a good side, they play good football, they have some good players and tomorrow will be a tough test.

"There are some good games in the league tomorrow, none more so than the one that we've got. I've got great belief that we can still have a good season here, and to do that we have got to win some games out the nine that we still have - it starts with one brick and that first brick is tomorrow."

The Chesterfield manager was unwilling to be drawn on the availability of Walsall striker Bradshaw, preferring to focus on the preparation of his own squad.

"It doesn't bother me," he said. "I don’t want to wish bad thing on people. If he plays, he plays, I can’t do nothing about it either way. However, if Gary Roberts, Jay O’Shea and Gboly Aribiyi turn up then Walsall might have problems. I'll concentrate on my players getting fit, they know the importance of this game. 

"I didn't think the supporters got what they deserved from the game at Peterborough but that’s football and we live to fight another day.

"It should be a good game and there should be some goals. Winning is everything at the moment and people call this the business end of the season. I don’t understand that because you get three points in October like you do in April, though as the games run out three points are more valuable than ever."

Supporters can follow extensive coverage of the game via live full match commentary on Spireites Player, minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter or score updates on the club's Facebook page.

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