Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

Walsall Preview

12 March 2016

Sponsored by

Seconds out, round four. The Spireites and Saddlers face up for the fourth time this season tomorrow with the Proact hosts looking to extend their unbeaten run.

The Spireites won the previous Sky Bet League 1 match-up with a 2-1 away win in October, while Walsall got a measure of revenge in the FA Cup second round, where after two matches and an extra time of stalemate the Saddlers won a penalty shoot-out to progress.


Both home and away supporters can buy tickets before the game. Home fans can purchase online now or from the main ticket office from 9am right up until kick-off, while away fans can buy from the away ticket office in the away end from 1pm.

Team News

The Spireites have no new injury worries but manager Danny Wilson has confirmed that Chris Herd is still fighting back from his hip flexor complaint and won't be considered for squad selection this weekend.

Defensive pair Dan Jones and Charlie Raglan played 45 and 60 minutes respectively for the reserves in midweek as they continue their recoveries from injury.

The major news for the Saddlers since their last match has been on the bench with Sean O'Driscoll leaving his role as head coach after just 16 games and three months at the helm.

The change means for the third time this season the Spireites will face up against the interim management trio of Jon Whitney, John Wars and Neil Cutler - who will be without the injured pair of Jordan Cook and Isaiah Osbourne.

Form Guide

Five games unbeaten, including three much-needed wins, have allowed Spireites supporters to breathe slightly more easily as the side aim to escape the relegation scrap. The latest win a late triumph at Southend United last weekend.

Now six points above fourth-bottom Blackpool, a league-wide season of unbeaten and unwinning runs will serve as warning that the Spireites will only be safe this season when the mathematics says so.

The Saddlers are in a recent slump themselves, after a six-game stint of collecting just three points that led to the parting with their manager. Saturday's visitors have also notched only three strikes in the spell.

However, Walsall remain up in fourth spot in Sky Bet league 1 and sit merely five points outside of the automatic promotion spots of the top two, with a game in hand.

From the Dugout

In his pre-match press conference, the Spireites manager gave his reaction to the surprise managerial change at the Banks's Stadium this week.

"I was shocked at first," he said. "Any team that's done as well as Walsall this year - unless your manager's been poached like Brentford did with Dean Smith - you'd expect your manager to still be in situ.

"That wasn't the case and I think it surprised everybody. For whatever reason, and that will be down to the club, and whether we'll see a reaction from the team, we'll have to wait and see.

"I'm expecting one from the players. They've had a bit of a blip but they're still very much in contention at the top of the league and I'm sure after not winning in recent games they'll be looking to rectify that."

The recent away wins at high-flyers Gillingham and Southend have further illustrated the Spireites' trend for performing well against the highly-placed sides, with Wilson discussing the subject. 

"It's a strange thing, the mind. Even though you may try to say certain things when you get out on the pitch it can make you do different things.

"There's always going to be teams that raise their game when they play the top teams and there'll always be players that will think things will be a little bit easier against a team bottom of the league.

"I don't know how you can cope with that. Certainly from us we've been responding better with the teams higher up the league," Wilson said.

Tune in to PlayerHD for live commentary of the game at the Proact, or else head over to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for our comprehensive matchday coverage.

Advertisement block