Here is our quick guide to Port Vale’s next League One opponents – our old foes Walsall at the Bescot stadium.
Vale’s only injury is captain Doug Loft who is ruled out for up to four weeks. Following Vale’s midweek defeat, Chris Birchall and Gavin Tomlin will be pushing present incumbent Louis Dodds for Loft’s place in the side. Dan Jones (right) is now back in training but will probably not be fit enough to feature in the match-day squad.
Walsall have no injury issues although former Vale loanee Romaine Sawyers could return at the expense of Nicky Featherstone.
Predicted Vale Starting XI:
Yates, Robertson, Duffy, Taylor
Myrie-Williams, Griffith, Lines, Tomlin
They have got some decent players, particularly in forward areas so it is a good test for us, but it is not something that should faze us or daunt us, we have just got to go there and play…
– Micky Adams
“They are a very good team, you can’t deny that, they are a good passing team. I saw them the other night on the telly against Peterborough and I thought they were quite good.”
– Jennison Myrie-Williams
“I’m not surprised to see that Port Vale have started life in League One in solid fashion. They are a hard-working team who have secured some good results.”
– Dean Smith
Last time we met
The Valiants lost 2-1 in the Capital One cup earlier this season. Chris Robertson (right) scored for the Vale but goals from Westcarr and Bexendale put the Saddlers into the next round.
- Vale wins: 19
- Walsall wins: 38
- Draws: 25
Last time we…
Won away at Walsall was way back in 1989. Two goals from Darren Beckford gave the Vale a 2-1 league cup victory. Vale’s only other victory in the last 66 years was a Johnstones Paints Trophy win on penalties last season.
For our last league victory at Walsall, you need to go an awful long way back in the history books.
It came on the 22nd November 1947 when goals from Alf Bellis and Ronnie Allen gave Vale a 2-1 win. However, since then Vale have failed to win in the proceeding 26 league fixtures with the unenviable record:
- Won: 0
- Drawn: 8
- Lost: 14
Romaine Sawyers will be facing the Valiants two years after a less than productive loan spell at Vale Park. Sawyers was brought in by Jim Gannon (right) alongside West Brom team-mate Kaylden Brown but Sawyers managed just eight minutes of action for Vale before returning to his parent club. He has fared better at the Bescot stadium scoring four times in six starts since making a permanent move in the summer.
Meanwhile Walsall’s management team both have a Vale connection. Manager Dean Smith spent six months at Vale Park in 2004 while his assistant Richard O’Kelly spent two years with the Valiants.
Other players to appear for both sides include:
Dean Smith, Marc Laird, Paul Marshall, Stefan Moore, Simon Osborn, Michael Husbands, Brett Angell, Darren Beckford, Colin Gibson, Adrian Littlejohn, Dave Barnett, Nicky Cross (right), Jonny Brain, Bobby Gough, Roy Cross, Keith Ball, John Woodward, Gary Ford, Steve Cherry, Danny Sonner, Ally Brown, Tony Richards, Trevor Wood, Rhys Weston and Hector Sam.