Have we turned the corner? Is the Destiny Train back on the right track? We are no more than 24 hours from finding out. We travel to Walsall this weekend for the chance to make it three wins in three games and continue the momentum built up with our victories over MK Dons and Brentford. This wave of optimism is starting to become disconcerting – and we’re only one paragraph into the piece.
In addition to our recent upturn in form, good vibrations are also fuelled by quite a strong squad situation. The defence looks settled and we’ve got Zoko banging them in up top, while GW is being spoiled rotten for choices in the middle. It will be intriguing to see which four make the cut tomorrow – we could conceivably put out two sets of midfield fours and you’d not sniff at either.
Luke Freeman and Michael Doughty are back in the ranks after missing last week’s match against Brentford due to being naughty boys. Meanwhile, we welcome Dean Parrett to the club – a signing we’re quite happy about, as it goes. So who would you play? Freeman and Heslop are our two first choices, Morais is looking the form player on the right and… then who? Doughty? Smith? Parrett? Your call Mr Westley.
Some facts to consider: three of the last four games involving the Saddlers have ended 1-1; coincidentally the score from the first time we visited the Banks’s Stadium. Our hosts have also gone four without a win (three draws, one defeat) but we’re still struggling in front of goal and only Sheffield United have scored fewer. We’re going to be leaning heavily on Mr Zoko to drag us up the goalscoring charts it seems.
Walsall kicks off a mini-run of three games that we ought to be targeting a full quota from. We go to Crewe on Tuesday, and host Crawley Town next weekend. So, three fixtures – like we just said – that are absolutely winnable. Mind you, it’ll be a moot point if we don’t get it right in the West Midlands. But we’re throwing caution to the wind on this one. Yep, we’re movin’ on up now; gettin’ out of the darkness…
Day; Gray, Ashton, Jones, Hartley; Morais, Heslop, Doughty, Freeman; Zoko, Burrow
Boro’ enjoyed plenty of the ball and Walsall did little in our third to concern us for most of this game, but the hosts ended up 1-0 winners courtesy of an 80th minute goal. Not having a single shot on goal wasn’t the best way to approach the first half, but we created more in the second; sub Oumare Tounkara guilty of missing the best of the chances when firing at the keeper. Shortly after, Boro’ were caught short at the back and conceded. Bah.
With Walsall without a victory in four games and us winning two on the spin, we’re slightly surprised to see that Sky Bet, Bet365 and Betway are offering 4s on the away win. Quids in should you be that way inclined! If you fancy the Saddlers to make it a fourth 1-1 in five, go with BetVictor at 7s. We’re tempted by Both Teams To Score, and also Over 2.5 goals – despite this fixture not being renowned for that sort of thing. At the time of writing…