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Match Previews

Preview: Walsall (A)

18 October 2019

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Over a fortnight on from Cheltenham Town's last League Two run out, the Robins make the short journey to Walsall on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm).

With last Saturday's game with Newport County AFC postponed because of international commitments for the Welsh side, Michael Duff's charges have been without a League game since the draw at Oldham Athletic at the beginning of the month.

Having put together a six match unbeaten league run heading into this weekend's contest the opportunity to keep pushing at the top end of League Two and to extend that unbeaten stretch is the prize.

Walsall head into the game having suffered back-to-back defeats against the two teams promoted into the division from the National League last season and will be looking to get back to the positive form they recorded in the second half of September.

Team news

An injury picked up in training rules Tahvon Campbell out. Rohan Ince and Will Boyle are set to be part of the squad on their return to fitness again though.

Luke Varney is set to return but Max Sheaf and Josh Debayo are definitely out, as is Dan Bowry following his loan transfer to Bath City.

Watch Michael Duff's press conference previewing the match:

Watch some of the preparation on the training pitches ahead of this weekend's game below:

Opposition

Walsall are back in League Two for the first time since the 2006/07 season when their title win in the fourth tier took them up to League One where they remained until last season.

Winning away at Northampton on the opening day of the season and then holding Forest Green to a draw on matchday two suggested a strong start for the Saddlers, but after then they went on a run of eight games without a win in all competitions.

A run of three straight league victories plus a Leasing.com Trophy win over Southampton under-21s built a bit of momentum in September and they head into Saturday's match 19th in the table.

Former Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke is in charge having been appointed during the summer as he looks to repeat the success he achieved at the Memorial Stadium with his current employers.

He has taken some of the talented players he had at Rovers with him to Walsall. Defender James Clarke and energetic midfield man Stuart Sinclair are two key men in their ranks, while striker Rory Gaffney is another that wore Pirates colours when Clarke was in charge.

The Saddlers line-up also features former Liverpool and Reading midfielder Danny Guthrie who is back in English football after a spell in Indonesia. Academy graduate Lewis Kinsella and the versatile Gary Liddle are likely to be involved too, while there are two ex-Robins loanees in Cameron Pring and Elijah Adebayo (pictured below) who may play a part.

Previous meetings

Yet to win against the Saddlers, Saturday's game represents another opportunity for Cheltenham to record a first competitive win over the day's opponents.

The first meeting between the two clubs was a 2-2 draw in the LDV Vans Trophy in November 2004, while the last competitive clashes came in League One during the 2008/09 campaign with both matches again ending all square.

Before then though Walsall enjoyed back-to-back wins during the 2007/08 League One season as well as a Johnstones Paint Trophy win at Whaddon Road in October 2008.

The two teams met in a pre-season friendly (pictured below) at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium in late July 2018. Walsall came out on top with a 2-1 win that day thanks to goals from Nicky Devlin and Andy Cook. Scottish forward Brian Graham netted the Robins goal that afternoon.

Tickets & travel

Tickets are available to buy on the day. Prices are:

Adults £22
18-21 year olds £18
Over 60s £15
Under-18s £10
Family ticket (1 adult & 1 under-18) £22

Supporters booked on the Travel Club coaches are reminded that they leave from the Jonny-Rocks at 11.45am.

Coverage

Follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter for team news, updates and pictures throughout Saturday. The official CTFC Facebook page will also have team news and goal updates available.

After the game visit the club website to read the match report and to hear from the manager and a player on interview.

You can tune in to hear full commentary of the game too via the iFollow service online.


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