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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Walsall Vs Barnsley

22 March 2019

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Walsall Vs Barnsley

22 March 2019

The Reds head to the West Midlands on Saturday to take on Walsall in a 12pm kick-off in Sky Bet League One and we've got it covered in your big match preview.

Following last Friday night's goalless draw in Doncaster, Daniel Stendel's side travel to The Banks's Stadium this coming weekend, to tackle a Walsall outfit struggling for form and embroiled in a relegation battle. 

The 0-0 draw with Rovers last week extended the Reds' unbeaten run to 18 games.


Skipper, Adam Davies was in fine form at the Keepmoat, making a number of quality saves to preserve his sixth consecutive clean sheet. But with the big man away on international duty with Wales - where he earned his first cap in midweek against Trinidad & Tobago - the Reds will have to call upon a different 'keeper.

It would likely mean an appearance for Jack Walton, who ironically started against Walsall in the reverse fixture at Oakwell earlier in the season.

Also missing for this lunchtime clash on Sky Sports will be Ryan Hedges who is also away with the Welsh squad (man of the match against Trinidad & Tobago), and midfielder Kenny Dougall.


The Australian suffered a leg fracture in a challenge early in the first half against Doncaster and looks set to miss the remainder of the season.

Along with long-term absentee, Kieffer Moore, it means Stendel is without a number of key players against the Saddlers.


Brown Walsall

22 March 2019

Back in the squad and available for this weekend are both Cameron McGeehan and Jacob Brown. The pair have now served their three-match suspensions and will go straight back into contention.

Walsall's form has been patchy of late, but they have won both of their last two fixtures on home soil. A 3-2 victory over Bradford City was followed by a 2-0 win against Fleetwood Town. 


They lost last time out when visiting high-flying Sunderland last Saturday. Despite taking the lead at the Stadium of Light, they went down 2-1 in the end.

Led by an ex-player in Dean Keates, the Saddlers' manager since March 2018, they currently reside in the dreaded bottom four in Sky Bet League One. 

Sitting 21st, they are in the drop-zone on goal difference after last weekend's results and will be hoping their home form can drag them away from trouble, starting on Saturday against the Reds.

Matt Jarvis

They will be looking to the experienced Matt Jarvis (pictured) for help. The former West Ham and Wolves winger earned an England cap in 2011, coming on as a substitute against Ghana in a friendly. He hasn't played much football over the last few years owing to a succession of cruel injuries but the 32-year-old could be vital if Walsall are to get themselves to safety this term.

Saddlers chief, Keates is confident his side can escape trouble, as he explained when speaking with the media in midweek.

"When we make better decisions, we will get back to keeping clean sheets like we were a couple of weeks ago.

“There are so many teams in the mix in terms of relegation."


“The way we are looking at the game against Barnsley on Saturday is that we have an opportunity to put pressure on the other teams.

“By the time we finish our game on Saturday, we could be 13th in the table."

Assistant Coach Dale Tonge and returning winger Jacob Brown also spoke with the press in midweek to preview the game from a Barnsley perspective and their pre-match press conference videos are on iFollow Barnsley.

Apologies, this video is unvailable.
Apologies, this video is unvailable.

The Reds and the Saddlers played out a 1-1 draw in September 2018, the last meeting between the sides.

Andy Cook struck an 89th minute leveller, cancelling out an own-goal from Jack Fitzwater, in a game played in awful, rain-soaked conditions at Oakwell.

Our last visit to the home of Walsall was a memorable one. In May of 2016 the Reds saw off the hosts 3-1 in the 2nd leg of the Sky Bet League One playoff semi final, thanks to goals from Adam Hammill, Ashley Fletcher and Josh Brownhill.


In May of 2006, another memorable trip. A 2-1 victory to confirm the Reds' playoff place with Marc Richards and Daniel Nardiello on target.

Barnsley's last defeat there came in December of 2014 when they were beaten 3-1 at the Bescot Stadium.

The two sides first met each other in the 1898/99 Division Two campaign, with both matches 1-1 draws. 


Tonge Press Walsall

21 March 2019

Saturday will be the 49th meeting, and the Reds edge the head-to-head record slightly, with 18 victories to the Saddlers' 16 wins. 

Due to the Sky Sports coverage, the 12pm kick-off will not be available to iFollow Barnsley subscribers in terms of a live stream, but we will have our usual audio commentary with club commentator Matt Bailey on air shortly before midday.

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