A closer look at Walsall ahead of clash of two of Sky Bet League One’s top four on Saturday.
- Latics travel to the Banks’s Stadium to face Walsall on Saturday 20th February.
- Win would see Gary Caldwell’s move back up to third and potentially into automatic promotion spots in Sky Bet League One.
- Walsall not won in last three home fixtures and have recorded just one win in last five games in all competitions.
It’s arguably the biggest game of the calendar year to date for Gary Caldwell’s Wigan Athletic when they travel to fellow Sky Bet League One promotion chasers Walsall on Saturday.
With the longest unbeaten run in the Football League to their name – ten games – Latics will be hoping to at least extend that run as they look to prevent the Saddlers and Gillingham from peeling away from them in the automatic promotion battle with Burton Albion currently clear in first place.
Walsall come into the game winless from their last three fixtures at the Banks’s Stadium whilst they have won just once in their last five matches in all competitions, as new boss Sean O’Driscoll looks to steer the Saddlers in the same direction that previous boss Dean Smith was prior to his departure to Brentford.
A win on Saturday would see either side move into the top two if Gillingham fail to beat Oldham Athletic in Greater Manchester, though defeat could see Latics move as many as five points from the automatic promotion spots.
WALSALL IN 2015/16 SO FAR
Latics will remain without Michael Jacobs and Sanmi Odelusi as the pair continue to recover from their respective injuries, though there is better news on Kevin McNaughton and Reece James as the defensive duo both took part in Tuesday’s development squad game with Burnley.
Haris Vuckic and Craig Davies both scored in that game and will be pushing for starts.
For Walsall, goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and striker Tom Bradshaw both featured against Crewe last time out despite being doubtful. Second choice keeper Craig MacGillivray remains doubtful whilst Isaiah Osbourne is the only long-term absentee.
Latics have won just under half (13) of the 29 league meetings between the two sides with Walsall collecting nine victories.
Biggest Win: Wigan Athletic 5 – 1 Walsall (September 1986) – Chris Thompson hat-trick helps Latics on their way to a first victory under new boss Ray Mathias.
Biggest Defeat: Walsall 3 – 0 Wigan Athletic (April 1984) - Ken Mower, David Kelly and Richard O'Kelly scored for Walsall.