Walsall face Charlton Athletic in testing tie


Walsall boss Dean Keates sees his side sit 10th in the league table and they will come up against playoff’s hopefuls Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night. Walsall will leapfrog their opponents with a victory.

Both go into this with average league form in their last six. For the hosts they have won three of there last six winning 3-2 against Wycombe Wanderers; 3-1 against Middlesbrough Under 21 side in the Checkatrade Trophy and finally beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 on their travels.

The other three matches were losses, most recently The Saddlers lost to Burton Albion 3-1. The others were a 3-0 loss away to Southend and a 2-0 loss traveling to Luton Town.

As for Lee Bowyer’s Charlton, they’ve most recently beaten Doncaster Rovers 2-0 at The Valley, prior to that they had lost 1-0 to Rochdale and drawn 1-1 with strugglers Oxford United.

At the start of the last six matches came a 2-1 loss at home to Coventry, though this was quickly forgotten with a historic 8-0 win over Stevenage Town in the Checkatrade Trophy. The other result was a 2-0 home win over Barnsley.

Walsall haven’t won in six league matches against Charlton, last winning when now Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was in charge back in April 2011, they won that 2-0.

Since that time though it’s been three losses and three draws with the most recent match ending 3-1 to Charlton at the Valley back in January.


Team News

Keates will likely rotate his squad around following the 3-1 defeat to Burton last weekend. He’d made three substitutions in that defeat bringing defender Nicky Devlin on for Kane Wilson; Zeli Ismail then came on for Isaiah Osbourne; Finally, Kieron Morris made way for Josh Ginnelly.

Long-term injuries to Joe Edwards (knee) and Kory Roberts (broken leg) mean they will not stand a chance of featuring.

The away side have several players who are in the rehabilitation stages of their injuries with Left-back Lewis Page (hip), Defender Patrick Bauer, midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey and Striker Billy Clarke (knee) are all looking like this game will be too early for them.

Three players could recover from their injuries picked up in their win last weekend, Midfielder Anfernee Dijksteel who’d got subbed off will face a fitness test to see if he’s over his hamstring problem.

While Midfielder Ben Reeves knock isn’t too serious, striker Lyle Taylor may not make the game due to his long-standing hip injury that forced him off against the Dons.

Top scorers & Assisters

Centre Forward Andy Cook has five goals in 18 appearances for the hosts, most recently scoring in their last match against Burton.

Left-back Maziar Kouhyar has been the key contributor with assists with four in three games though these have only come in cup and Kouhyar is unlikely to feature. More likely to feature is Defensive midfielder George Dobson he’s second with three assists.

Strikers Lyle Taylor and Karlan Ahearne-Grant both have eight goals and are joint sixth highest scorers in the league with Barnsley striker Kieffer Moore.

Taylor also has the most assists for the ‘Addicks’ with four in 15 matches. Ahearne-Grant is one behind him joint with Igor Vetokele.


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News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here: https://twitter.com/BrandonPrangell

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