Football – England – League One
Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Mid-table Walsall will be looking to build upon their recent resurgence in form when they take on struggling Oldham Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
Walsall racked up four straight wins recently with victories over Stevenage 1-0, Portsmouth 2-0, 3-1 at Preston NE and an impressive though unlikely 3-1 home win over Bournemouth who are at the top of their game at the moment. However, this improved run of form came to an abrupt end at Colchester United when they went down 0-2, but today represents a great opportunity to extend their winning run on home turf.
Walsall’s home record stands at 6-4-5 21/22, and they are currently on a four match winning streak and are unbeaten in their last six at The Bescot. Leading goalscorer is Grigg (9 goals, 6 assists) along with Paterson (6 goals, 4 assists) and Bowerman (6 goals) providing the cutting edge up front.
In contrast, visitors Oldham Athletic have not won in their last eight League One matches with defeats against Swindon Town 0-2, Yeovil Town 1-4, Doncaster Rovers 1-2, Crewe Alexandra 1-2, Brentford 0-2, Coventry City 1-2 and Notts County 0-1 while their only point during this miserable run was courtesy of a 2-2 draw at Scunthorpe United on New Years Day.
Away from home the story doesn’t get much better I’m afraid with just two wins from their last eleven away matches which were at bottom club Hartlepool United and 20th placed Colchester United, but aside from those wins they’ve suffered six defeats during this sequence.
Oldham Athletic’s away record stands at 4-3-8 15/23 and they’ve kept just three clean sheets in their last fifteen away matches which obviously presents Walsall with a great opportunity to seal the points here today. In addition, Oldham do tend to struggle for goals on the road and only Jose Baxter (9 goals) represents any kind of danger.
I wouldn’t place too much importance on Oldham’s recent FA Cup win over Liverpool as the cup has moved down the pecking order for a lot of Premiership clubs now and even Championship sides chasing promotion, so given Walsall’s strong form at home in the last few weeks I’ll back them giving away the quarter ball here in what should be a comfortable home win; 2-1 to Walsall.
Pick: Walsall AH-0.25 @ 1.88 Pinnacle