Walsall’s next game sees the visit of Yeovil Town. The Southerners are a relatively new side to the English football league after winning promotion to League Two in 2003. Before that, they were known for their ‘giant killing’ acts in the FA Cup.
This started as far back as the 1948-49 season, where The Glovers beat Sunderland 2-1 in the 4th round of the FA Cup in front of 17,000 fans who crammed into Huish Park. However, after the win against Sunderland they had to play English giants Manchester United at Maine Road. If they managed this win, it would have been the biggest giant killing act since the 30’s, where Walsall beat Arsenal 2-0 at Fellows Park. Yeovil failed to continue their giant killing run, losing 8-0 to United. They did however win promotion in style, winning the league by 17 points and scoring 100 goals whilst remaining unbeaten at home. Since promotion to the Football League, Yeovil didn’t waste time making it to League One, taking just two seasons to achieve promotion. They won the league, scoring 90 goals, 29 of which were bagged by Phil Jevons. Since joining League One in 2005, Yeovil have found themselves mostly in the bottom half of the league table, even though they managed to finish 5th in the League during the 2006-07 season.
Yeovil’s manager is former skipper Terry Skiverton. The 36 year old played as a centre back for The Glovers, making an impressive 382 appearances for the club. He was announced Yeovil’s player-manager in February 2009 after former manager Russell Slade parted company with the club. He managed to keep Yeovil in the league after an impressive series of good home results. At the end of that season, he announced he would drop his playing duties and concentrate solely on his managerial job. So far managing 119 games, he has won 34 of them, giving him a win percentage of just 28%, but he is proving popular with the Yeovil faithful.
Skiverton’s last game saw them lose 1-0 to MK Dons, with a goal from Sam Baldock giving Yeovil their third defeat in four games, including a Carling Cup loss to fellow League One side Exeter City. Yeovil seem to struggle with keeping a clean sheet, and are yet to keep one this term. Goals also seem hard to come by, only scoring 3 so far, all of which were against Oldham during a 3-1 win last week.
Yeovil have made a massive 13 signings, replacing 10 who left in the summer. These 13 are Gavin Williams (Bristol Rovers), Kieran Agard (Everton), Bondz N’Gala (Plymouth), Dominic Blizzard (Bristol Rovers), Anthony Edgar (West Ham), Curtis Haynes-Brown (Lowestoft Town), Steve MacLean (Free), Jed Steer (Norwich – loan), Rory Fallon (Free), Jonathan Obika (Spurs – loan), Kerrea Gilbert (Free), Abdulai Bell-Baggie (Free) and Alan O’Brien (Free). Jon Obika is in his 4th loan spell with the club, whilst Rory Fallon seems to be a player who can cause trouble. However, he has big boots to fill after Dean Bowditch left for MK Dons. Adam Virgo has left,and after rumours supposedly linking him with Walsall, he joined League Two side Bristol Rovers. Stefan Stam also left to join a League Two side, signing for Hereford. Craig Calver, Alex Russell and former Walsall loanee Sam Willams have all been released whilst Andy Welsh and Nathan Smith have joined League One clubs, Carlisle and Chesterfield respectively. Martin Gritton has dropped two levels to link up with Stockport County while Craig Alcock has jumped into The Championship with new boys Peterborough.
Walsall head into this game with no injury worries, Andy Butler been aloud to play after our appeal against the red card was successful, while Adam Chambers will miss the last game of his suspension. Its likely to be an unchanged XI to that that started against Sheffield United. Anton Peterlin will keep his place in midfield along side Richard Taundry.
Yeovil could name a unchanged XI that lost to MK Dons, Rory Fallon will behoping for a place up front while Andy O’Brien will also be pushing for a first team spot.
My prediction for this game is a Walsall win, if we continue and build from our performance on Tuesday night, we could see a decent win. Im going for a 3-1 victory for Walsall!