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Match Previews

Latics vs. Walsall

Sky Bet League Two - Matchday 18

15 December 2020

Latics are looking to made it back-to-back wins at home as they welcome Walsall to Boundary Park (7pm KO).

Goals from Dylan Bahamboula, Carl Piergianni and Davis Keillor-Dunn propelled Oldham to just their second league win on home turf and saw them rise to 15th in the Sky Bet League Two table.

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Harry Kewell will be hoping that his side can replicate their impressive form on the round at Boundary Park and a win against Walsall could go some way to doing that.

Latics have won four out of their last five games in the league, a run that leaves them just four points off the top seven.

A win against Walsall would see Oldham leapfrog them in the table.

Form Guide

Walsall come into the game on the back of a four-game unbeaten streak, with them picking up maximum points in their last two outings.

Before picking up wins in their last two, the Saddlers had gone six games in all competitions without finding a win.

They are 11th in the Sky Bet League Two table, four places but just one point better off than Latics.

The Saddlers’ last six:

  1. Walsall 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
  2. Tranmere Rovers 1-3 Walsall
  3. Walsall 1-1 Stevenage
  4. Newport County 1-1 Walsall
  5. Cheltenham Town 3-0 Walsall
  6. Walsall 0-1 Southend United

Head-to-Head

Meetings: 60

Latics wins: 23
Walsall wins: 23
Draws: 14

For - 81
Against - 91

Last time the sides met Latics won 2-0 at Boundary Park.

The visitors were reduced to 10-men early on in the second half with Matt Sadler being sent for an early bath and the extra men advantage paid off for Latics.

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Goals from Scott Wilson and Desire Segbe Azankpo gave Oldham a 2-0 win in October 2019.

Latics have lost none of the last five games against Walsall at Boundary Park and the last time the Saddlers won in Oldham was August 2013.

Interesting Info

  • Since 2000, Latics are W14, L9 against Walsall in 30 matches.
  • At home we've P30, W14, D6, L10 with 45 for and 44 against in terms of goals.
  • There's been a couple of 8-goal matches at home, both Oldham wins (6-2 in 1966, 5-3 in 2004).
  • With one defeat in 11 at home against Walsall. There's been two defeats in all at home since 2000.
  • Matches have been tight with few goals since 2005 - an average of 2.2 goals per game (27 matches). Also an average of 3.4 before that (33 matches).
  • Walsall are in solid form too, winning and drawing two in last their last four, beating in-form Tranmere and Bolton most recently.
  • Walsall do only have one away win all season though, but also only one defeat. Becoming draw specialists (6), whereas Latics drawn only one home match all season.
  • The Saddlers have also started this season well, but had a lull before their recent four-match run. 
  • With Latics' traditional Tuesday home form taking a hit in the last few weeks (losing to Sunderland and Tranmere). But are still better on Tuesdays (W35 D17 L24 since 2010, win percentage 46%) than not on Tuesdays (W68 D62 L81, win percentage 32%).
  • On This Day: 1990 Oldham 4-1 Wolves, 2007 Millwall 2-3 Oldham, 2018 Oldham 4-2 Bury.
  • With a steady record at home on December 15th - W2 D2 L2. Whenever the boys in blue have won at home on this day, four goals have been scored!

Team News

In terms of selection, Head Coach Harry Kewell still has Danny Rowe as a doubt after his knock last week, with George Blackwood now having some more time on the sidelines after a setback in his recovery.

Zak Dearnley is back involved and available for selection once again, with defenders Andrea Badan and Kyle Jameson continuing their recovery from hamstring injuries.

Watch Out For

Elijah Adebayo has scored seven league goals for the Saddlers this campaign, including the opener in their win over Bolton this weekend.

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The young forward has hit a good run of form and has netted in three of his last four games.

Adebayo came through the ranks at Fulham but never made a senior appearance for the Cottagers and instead had to go out on loan to Slough Town, Bognor Regis Town, Cheltenham Town, Swindon Town and Stevenage for his first experiences of senior football.

He was eventually released by Fulham following the 2018/19 season and signed for Walsall on a free transfer in June 2019.

He managed eight league goals in his first term at the Bescot Stadium but looks set to be much more prolific this season as he has seven to his name already in just 17 league games.

In The Dugout

Darrell Clarke is the man in the dugout for the visitors.

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Clarke took over at the Bescot Stadium in May 2019 and it his third posting in management following spells with Salisbury City and Bristol Rovers.

The 42 year-old’s most notable achievement to date is guiding Bristol Rovers from the Conference to League One with back to back promotions.

As a player, Clarke represented; Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United, Stockport City, Port Vale, Rochdale and Salisbury City.

Match Officials

The man in charge for the game tonight is James Ball.

The official has had 13 games this season, handing out 40 yellow cards and five red cards.

He is yet to officiate a Latics or Walsall fixture after promotion from the National League last campaign and will be assisted by Billy Smallwood and Alistair Nelson, with Carl Boyeson as the Fourth Official.

Sky Bet Odds

The Saddlers have made been slight favourites for the clash at 6/4 with Latics at the slightly longer odds of 13/8.

23/10 is the price available for the game to end level.

Please gamble responsibly by clicking here. For more information visit: www.begambleaware.org 

How To Follow The Game

Because the game is classed as behind-closed-doors, supporters can tune into a live match stream with commentary available for all subscribers on iFollow Latics, as Roy Butterworth and Mike Leyland talk you through the action.

This match is available as a live stream for the fee of £10 by clicking here.

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In the current environment, there is a greater dependence on match streaming than ever before. 

As a result iFollow generates one of the only revenue streams available to clubs through these financial challenges. 

Piracy - and illegal streaming of matches - does not only carry the risk of potential criminal action, but also has a greater financial impact on clubs while supporters are unable to attend matches. 

The EFL's campaign would like to not only convey the message that piracy is immoral and illegal, but that it is also financially damaging club's across the divisions.

For more information on the campaign and iFollow, click here.

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

Visit the Live Match Centre to access form guides, live text commentary and live access to the match on iFollow

Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.

Oldham Athletic would like to make it clear that all fixtures are still strictly-behind-closed doors with spectators not being allowed entry.

Extensive guidelines are in place for the safety of officials and players whilst the events are taking place.

It is important you do not travel or attempt to visit Boundary Park on the day, especially with the new local restrictions in place.


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