Here is our quick guide to Port Vale’s next League One opponents – Walsall – with Vale looking for the double over their old foes.
Chris Lines: missing for four games
Vale will be missing Chris Lines who is now suspended for four games. Vale could opt to move Doug Loft into the middle and bring Chris Birchall into the side. Ben Williamson could also make the squad if he recovers from injury.
Walsall will be without top scorer Craig Westcarr. The striker received a straight red card in last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury and starts his three-game suspension.
Possible Vale starting XI
Duffy Robertson Davis Jones
Myrie-Williams Knott Loft Birchall
Page: expecting a tough test
“Walsall are a couple of points above us and they still think a play-off place is achievable, so we are in for a tough game on Saturday..”
– Rob Page
“Ultimately it is down to us. Win every game and we will be in the play-offs, or at least the odds are we will be, when you look at what has been required in previous seasons.
– Walsall’s Andy Taylor
Last time we met
Port Vale’s last away victory ended the long wait for an away win at Walsall. The sides met in November when Tom Pope and Gavin Tomlin scored in a 2-0 Vale win.
- Vale wins: 20
- Walsall wins: 38
- Draws: 25
Last time we…
Defeated Walsall at home was back in 2005. Chris Cornes scored the Vale winner in a 3-2 win with Chris Birchall and Gary Mulligan scoring Vale’s other goals.
Chris Shuker: could face former club
Chris Shuker spent a short loan spell at Walsall earlier in his career. Meanwhile, 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 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.
Here’s highlights of Vale’s win from earlier in the season.