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Match Previews

OPPOSITION GUIDE: WALSALL

25 January 2022

The Bantams are on the road for the second time in four days tonight, this time with a trip to Walsall for a Sky Bet League Two clash set for 7.45pm.

The Saddlers are yet to win this calendar year, with their only point coming in breathtaking fashion - a 95th-minute leveller at home to promotion-chasing Newport.

Walsall go into the fixture in 17th place after what can be described as a mixed opening half of the season for the West Midlands club. 

An Elliot Watt wonder goal broke the deadlock in the return fixture, but the visitors levelled just prior to half-time and managed to frustrate City into a draw despite Joss Labadie’s dismissal.

We have put together an Opposition Guide to give you all the information you need to know about our upcoming opponents. 

TRANSFER ACTIVITY

The West Midlands side had a fairly busy summer transfer window, bringing in a total of 15 signings, with 10 players departing. 

So far this window, the Saddlers have made two signings, making Rolin Menayese’s loan permanent and securing Donervon Daniels after his release from Crewe Alexandra. 

INCOMINGS: Carl Rushworth (Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s, loan), Zak Mills (Port Vale), Danny Coogan (Rushall Olympic), Manny Monthe (Tranmere Rovers), Ash Taylor (Aberdeen), Rollin Menayese (Mansfield Town), Stephen Ward (Ipswich Town), Joss Labadie (Newport County), Brendan Kiernan (Harrogate Town), Tyrese Shade (Leicester City under-23s, loan), Jack Earing (Halifax Town), Conor Wilkinson (Leyton Orient), Kieran Phillips (Huddersfield Town, loan), George Miller (Barnsley, loan), Donervon Daniels (Crewe Alexandra). 

OUTGOINGS: Liam Roberts (Northampton Town), Cameron Norman (Newport County), Joe Foulkes (Kidderminster, loan), James Clarke (Newport County), Dann Scarr (Plymouth Argyle), Callum Cockerill-Mollett (Released), Stuart Sinclair (Released), Wes McDonald (Morecambe), Jack Nolan (Accrington Stanley), Josh Gordon (Barrow), Caolan Lavery (Bradford City). 

ONES TO WATCH

George Miller

The Saddlers' top goal-scorer this season, Miller has netted seven times in 22 appearances. 

Bolton-born, Miller made his name in his home county with Bury - bursting onto the scene with eight goals in his debut season at the tender age of 18.

City fans will recognise the 22-year-old, having enjoyed two loan spells with the Bantams during the 2018/19 season either side of a permanent move to Barnsley.

Brendan Kiernan

The winger arrived at the Banks’s Stadium from Harrogate Town in the summer and sits at the top of the club’s goal contribution charts.

With five goals and four assists to his name, Kiernan is an ever-present in Matty Taylor’s side due in no small part to his impact on games - having been involved during all of the Saddlers wins this season.

The 29-year-old has directly contributed to over 30% of the West Midlands side's goals thus far.

Tyrese Shade

Shade is ‘one to watch’ from any dead-ball situation. The winger’s free-kick against Sutton won the game for the Saddlers from 20 yards out. 

The 21-year-old joined the club on a season-long loan from Premier League side Leicester City and is highly thought of at the King Power Stadium.

Shade has two goals under his belt this season and is deployed on the opposite wing to Kiernan.

CAPTAIN 

After signing from fellow Sky Bet League Two side Newport County in the summer, Joss Labadie was immediately appointed as club captain. 

The 31-year-old midfielder has made almost 400 career appearances, with the majority of them being in the fourth tier. 

Labadie was shown a straight red card in the reverse fixture after a dangerous challenge on Gareth Evans.

MANAGER

Matthew Taylor officially took charge of the Saddlers after the end of the 2020/21 season and this is his first-ever managerial role at senior level. 

In his playing days, Taylor had spells at Luton Town, Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United, Burnley, Northampton Town and Swindon Town.

He played in each of England’s top four divisions and made a total of 742 appearances at club level throughout his career. 

LAST MATCH

Walsall 0

Exeter 2 (Timothee Dieng 44’, Cheick Diabate 84’)

WALSALL: Carl Rushworth; Rollin Menayese (booked 45+3’, dismissed 50’), Stephen Ward (Zak Mills 34’), Hayden White (booked 76’), Tom Leak; Tyrese Shade (George Miller 56’), Joss Labadie ©, Liam Kinsella, Jack Earing; Brendan Kiernan, Conor Wilkinson (Kieran Phillips 78’), SUBS (not used): Alfie Bates, Emmanuel Osadebe, Sam Perry, Jack Rose. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Meetings: 53

City Wins: 17

Draws: 22

Walsall Wins: 14

To secure tickets for this evening's clash, please CLICK HERE


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