Oldham Athletic are back in home action this evening as they take on Dean Keates’ Walsall at Boundary Park (7:45pm kick off).
Latics come into the game on the back of a valuable point earned against Oxford United on Saturday.
After a slow opening to the game, Richie Wellens’ side dominated creating several clear-cut openings. Academy graduates Tom Hamer and George Edmundson shone in a resolute back four. Latics also had two strong penalty claims waved away by referee Eddie Ilderton.
Victory for the hosts tonight would move them level on 47 points with the Saddlers relegating local rivals Bury in the process.
Tonight’s opponents come into the game with relative confidence on the back of a narrow 1-0 home win against Bury. The last time Walsall tasted victory on the road was when Erhun Oztumer struck a hat-trick which saw them beat Southend United 2-0.
The diminutive Turkish playmaker leads the scoring charts for the Saddlers managing an impressive 15 goals in Sky Bet League One this season.
In the reverse fixture, Walsall defeated Latics 2-1 at The Banks’s Stadium with a late Oztumer strike claiming his side all three points.
Defenders Cameron Dummigan (groin) and Kean Bryan (hamstring) will miss tonight’s encounter through injury whilst Anthony Gerrard and Brian Wilson are both doubtful.
It is expected Joe Edwards (knee) and Krystian Bielik (hamstring) will miss tonight’s game for the Saddlers as Justin Shaibu and Florent Cuvelier look likely to return to the matchday squad.
Speaking ahead of the game, Wellens emphasised the importance of his side getting all three points tonight: “It’s crucial. For me it’s the biggest game of the season just because it allows us to get a bit of the gap between the other teams. Tomorrow and Saturday, just focus, just win. Performance levels go out the window. If it’s a great performance and we give entertaining football and win then great but I just want the points.”
On tonight’s opponents the gaffer said: “I actually nearly went to Walsall on loan when I was 18/19 and Dean Keates was there then. Good little player. Good left foot. He had a great opportunity to work with Wrexham and did well with Wrexham but he’s stepped up a couple of levels and he’s gone back to a club that he’s played for and they got a fantastic result at the weekend so obviously I want him to do well.”
The official website's match centre will be posting regular updates throughout the game, including line-ups and statistics.
Keep up to date with all the action via our text based commentary on the club's official twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.
Subscribers will be able to listen to the club's official audio commentary of the match brought to you by Roy Butterworth and Sam Rosbottom.
International subscribers will be able to watch the game live via iFollow. Overseas fans wanting to watch this season’s action via iFollow can now purchase match passes, in addition to season long subscriptions.
A match pass, costing the equivalent of just £5, will allow overseas fans to choose specific Sky Bet EFL matches to watch during the regular league season and offers fans greater choice in how they follow Oldham Athletic.