Vale are hoping to bounce back from their loss to Bristol City – here’s our brief guide to their next opponents…
Manager: Rob Page
Last match: 1-3 vs Bristol City
Form guide: L-D-L-L-W
Manager: Dean Smith
Last match: 3-2 vs Rochdale
Form guide: W-W-D-D-W
Ryan McGivern: back in the starting eleven?
There are likely to be several changes in the Vale line-up with Rob Page particularly upset with the defence. The two Ryans – new loan signing Ryan Inniss and Northern Ireland International Ryan McGivern could form a new-look central defensive partnership. Elsewhere, Byron Moore could be handed a rare start after impressing as a sub against Bristol City.
Here’s our guesswork “finger in the air” possible starting XI:
Veseli – Innis – McGivern – Dickinson (c)
Moore – Lines – O’Connor – Marshall
Pope – Campion
Walsall’s top-scorer Tom Bradshaw is a major doubt while winger Anthony Forde definitely misses out.
“Dean Smith’s got a style of play that he doesn’t really tweak too much, so we know exactly what we’re going to come up against. Their home form is not as good as their away form but they’ve got a threat up front…”
– Rob Page
Last time we met
Tom Pope: Vale’s last scorer against Walsall
Vale played out a 1-1 draw in the opening match of the season. Vale led through Tom Pope only for Tom Bradshaw to equalise for the visitors.
- Vale wins: 21
- Walsall wins: 38
- Draws: 26
Did you know?
- Despite their historically appalling record against Walsall, the Valiants have lost just one of the last eight meetings between the two sides.
- Chris Robertson (right) scored his first-ever Vale goal in the 2-1 loss to Walsall in the Capital One Cup last season.
- Keeper Sam Johnson saved three penalties and scored the winner as Vale won a marathon Johnstones Paint Trophy clash in 2012.
- Walsall midfielder Florent Cuvelier scored in that JPT tie – he was later to join the Valiants on loan.
They played for both…
Walsall’s management team both have a Vale connection. Manager Dean Smith (right) spent six months at Vale Park in 2004 while his assistant Richard O’Kelly spent two years with the Valiants.
Midfielder Romaine Sawyers will be facing the Valiants three years after a less than productive loan spell at Vale Park. Sawyers was brought in by Jim Gannon alongside West Brom team-mate Kaylden Brown but Sawyers managed just eight minutes of action for Vale before returning to his parent club.
Other players to appear for both sides include: Florent Cuvelier, Marc Laird, Paul Marshall, Stefan Moore, Simon Osborn, Michael Husbands, Brett Angell, Darren Beckford, Colin Gibson, Adrian Littlejohn (right), Dave Barnett, Nicky Cross, 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.