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Match Preview: Walsall (H)

22 January 2021

Port Vale have the chance to build on last weekend’s well-earned point at Forest Green Rovers when we welcome Walsall to Vale Park on Saturday.

Fixture: Port Vale vs Walsall

Competition: Sky Bet League Two

Date: Saturday 23rd January

Kick-Off: 3:00 pm

Venue: Vale Park

Referee: Lee Swabey

 

Port Vale

Manager: Danny Pugh

Form: DLWLD

Top Goal Scorer: Devante Rodney (7 goals)

Danny Pugh’s side will be happy to have taken home a deserved point from Forest Green Rovers last weekend, after top-scorer Devante Rodney’s 76th minute strike levelled the scores at 1-1.

And the Valiants will be hoping that Tom Conlon can carry on his impressive run of form, with his dynamic performance at The Innocent New Lawn last weekend earning him a spot in the In Stat Football Sky Bet League Two team of the week.

Frank Sinclair will oversee first team matters during the Saddlers' visit as current interim manager Danny Pugh is self-isolating after having tested positive for Covid-19 in the week.

Pugh and Sinclair have no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game, a match in which Kurtis Guthrie could make his first start for the Valiants.

Vale will be keen to avenge the trip to Walsall in December, after first half goals from Tom Pope and Tom Conlon to go 2-0 up, were cancelled out in a 4-3 defeat at the Banks's Stadium.

“We’re doing everything in preparation for the game as we would if I was there, only it’s over the phone and via Zoom.”

 

Danny Pugh, Port Vale Interim Manager

Walsall

Manager: Darrell Clarke

Form: LLLDD

Top Goal Scorer: Elijah Adebayo (8 goals)

Walsall have had a mixed first-half of their Sky Bet League Two campaign, currently residing in 12th position, having recently hit a run of form which hasn’t seen them win a league match in five games.

However, despite sitting in mid-table, Darrell Clarke’s side sit just four points below a play-off spot, so they still have plenty to compete for in the second half of their league season. 

One to watch: Elijah Adebayo

Walsall’s top-scorer has been one of their most important signings over the last two seasons, scoring 16 goals during his Saddlers career.

The forward started his youth career at Fulham, before loan spells at Slough Town, Bognor Regis Town, Cheltenham Town, Swindon Town and Stevenage lead to the Saddlers signing Adebayo following the end of his Fulham contract in the summer of 2019.

His eight goals this season have propelled Walsall into the play-off picture this season, and the 21-year-old will be hoping that form continues with a chance of Sky Bet League One football next season not completely out of the question. 

Talk:

Danny Pugh: “We’ve learnt as much as we can from the last game against Walsall, we’re still looking at it, and we don’t want to make the same mistakes again.”

Darrell Clarke: “Like all teams in this division, you can see the closeness of the games, the compactness of the league. There's not a lot in the games.”

 

Coverage:

iFollow The Vale will be providing full 90-minute coverage of the match for all domestic supporters, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.

To purchase an iFollow match pass click here.

There will also be the build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: @officialpvfc

Reaction will be available on the website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and our official social media channels.


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