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Shrewsbury Town Vs Walsall FC: A West Midlands Derby Preview

Friday 14th April 2017
This Easter weekend offers many fixtures. Starting off on Good Friday, League One features an interesting match: the West Midlands derby between Shrewsbury Town FC and Walsall FC.

Shrewsbury are in nineteenth place, only a point above relegation. This fixture is key for their survival. Four losses in their last five games reveal the Shrews haven't had the best form recently. However, the lone result in those five matches was their last, a 1-0 win against Rochdale.

Walsall sit in fourteenth. Their form may be the worst in League One at present. The Saddlers have no wins in their last five, earning just two points. They are coming off a 1-1 draw with Oxford United.
The last time these two sides met in league play was in October. Walsall won 3-2. Goals from Amadou Bakayoko, Kieron Morris, and Erhun Oztumer guaranteed victory. Oztumer's eighty-eighth-minute strike gave Walsall bragging rights.

Key players for Shrewsbury this season include Junior Brown, Louis Dodds, Freddie Ladapo, and Shaun Whalley. Simeon Jackson and Franck Moussa are important players for Walsall, along with Bakayoko and Oztumer.

Physio-turned coach, Jon Whitney, has taken his knocks with Walsall this season, his first ever as an official manager. Paul Hurst's Shrews will be wanting to add to Whitney's pain, three points being essential to their relegation fight.

Walsall have played forty-one games, one less than Shrewsbury. Yet, the Saddlers forty-eight league goals are five better than the Shrews. They've also conceded eight fewer goals, allowing just fifty-one.
Walsall players at risk for suspension on four yellow cards include Amadou Bakayoko, James O'Connor, Jason McCarthy, and Matt Preston. Shrewsbury Town will be similarly concerned for Louis Dodds, Adam El-Abd, and Aristote Nsiala.

There are no new injury reports from either side.

Shrewsbury's new Meadow Stadium is expecting a sell-out crowd, with Saddlers fans making a short, thirty-eight-mile trip up the M54. They'll be looking to make themselves heard, whereas the home crowd will be eager to quiet them, perfect ingredients for an entertaining atmosphere.

With six matches remaining, Walsall are comfortably thirteen points from the last playoff space, nine above the drop line. Shrewsbury Town have much more at stake. Nevertheless, the Shrews and Saddlers have a history filled with entertaining, shall we say enthusiastic games. Don't be surprised to see a few cards handed out. This is a West Midlands derby on which to keep an eye.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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