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Match Previews

Match Preview: Swindon Town vs Walsall

The latest league contest at The County Ground this weekend

16 September 2023

Town will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the League Two season, following last weekend's 5-3 win against Sutton United, as they look to make it seven games without defeat against Walsall on today.

Walsall have had a change in form in recent times with a poor start to the season starting to look strong after back-to-back wins.
Currently sitting in ninth position with 11 points only a single point outside of the playoff places. Swindon will be looking to continue their great form at County Ground.
A lowdown on the visitors
A club that was formed in 1888, it wasn’t long until they started playing in a competitive league in 1897 when they officially became Walsall Football Club, the team they are known as to this day.
Success followed in the 1960s as they began to rise up the leagues and became more well-known across the footballing community before difficult spells in the years that followed led to improvements needed to be made to see the club rise up the leagues once again, achieving numerous promotions across the 1980s and 90s.
Losing out on Championship automatic promotion in 2016 by a single point, before losing out in the resulting play-off to Barnsley saw the Saddlers relegated in 2019 and end what was an impressive 11-year stay in the third tier of English football, finding themselves where they are today.
Looking at the present-day results, this afternoon's visitors will look to build on their recent strong results, following a mixed start to their 2023/24 Sky Bet League 2 campaign. 
A 2-1 defeat to Morecambe away, before responding with a 2-1 home win against Stockport County, was followed by a defeat to Wrexham and a draw to Wrexham in the league before narrow losses in the EFL Trophy and Carabao Cup, led the Saddlers to their current three-game unbeaten run.
A draw to Grimsby Town at home started the run before victories against Colchester and Salford see Walsall occupy ninth position in League Two and visit SN1 with recent confidence, as well as the additional point to prove against their previous manager Michael Flynn.
Given the history of both clubs and the factor of form and former players and staff on both sides, it tees today’s game up nicely for what should be an exciting contest.
Last time out
With the last meeting between the two sides resulted in a 0-0 draw.
However, it will be Walsall coming into this game with the moral high ground with the last game at the County Ground ending in a 2-1 win for The Saddlers. 
21/22: Swindon Town 5-0 Walsall
21/22: Walsall 0-3 Swindon Town 
21/22: Walsall 2-0 Swindon Town
22/23: Swindon Town 1-2 Walsall 
22/23: Walsall 0-0 Swindon Town
The manager: Mat Sadler
Mat Sadler is a popular face in the Black Country with two spells as a player at Walsall making a total of over 90 appearances.
Sadler also made numerous of youth appearances at the international level before going on loan to Northampton Town in 2003.
After spending three years in a couple of different coaching roles at Walsall, Sadler was given the interim manager role at the end of last season before finally being announced as manager in May.
Since then Walsall have had a difficult start to this campaign but have recently had a change of form unbeaten in their last three games.
One to watch: Freddie Draper
A young forward who has impressed in recent weeks, Draper is someone who joined the club on a season-long loan from League One side Lincoln City.
The forward enjoyed a fruitful and compelling run with League of Ireland side Drogheda United earlier this year.
During his time in Ireland, the teenage forward found the back of the net eight times in 21 games, with seven of them coming in his final 12 games for the club.
That fine finish to his time with Drogheda saw him pick up the Player of the Month award making him the youngest player to do so in the league since 1999.
Despite only being in Ireland for such a short period of time, Draper left Drogheda as the joint-fourth top scorer in the division, only three goals off the top scorer Chris Forrester who has 11 to his name.
The young striker made his professional debut for Lincoln back in 2021 as a 16-year-old, coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday and would go on to make a further eight appearances in all competitions that season for them.
So far for Walsall, the forward has scored twice in six games to accompany his two assists so far to make it four goal involvements in six games.

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