Two sides who are in desperate need of a win meet at The Suit Direct Stadium on Saturday afternoon as Hartlepool is set to host Walsall.
The hosts are well and truly involved in a relegation battle and they currently find themselves in 22nd place in the League Two table, having picked up just 27 points from their 33 league games so far this campaign. Crucially, Hartlepool has played four more games than Crawley who sit below them in the table.
Hartlepool hosted Newport County on Tuesday night in a vital game in their bid for Football League survival. Pools looked to have battled hard to earn a vital point however Mickey Demetriou’s injury-time header deepened Hartlepool’s relegation worries.
Following their disappointing defeat on Tuesday, Hartlepool released a statement late on Wednesday night confirming the sacking of Keith Curle as manager and assistant manager Colin West. Curle’s tenure comes to an end having won six of 24 league games.
Despite a poor run of results recently, Walsall still sits comfortably above the relegation battle in 13th place in the table, having amassed 42 points from their 30 league games so far this season.
With there still being 16 games left in their season, the Saddlers still have an outside chance of making the playoff places as they are only seven points behind 7th place and have games in hand over many of the teams above them in the league.
The Saddlers are without a league win in their last seven outings and have only claimed six points from the last 21 available. Each of Walsall’s last five league games has been drawn, they’ve never had six consecutive draws in their Football League history.
Walsall were held to a frustrating point on Tuesday night as their game against Crewe ended goalless. Despite having 16 shots in the game and 7 on target, Walsall were unable to find the back of the net. This draw seems to have crushed any distant hope that Walsall may have had of making a push for the playoff places.
Hartlepool have lost each of their last two Football League games against Walsall and could lose three in a row to the Saddlers for the first time since April 2005. Pools have only recorded one win in the last eight meetings of these sides.
Walsall ran riot when these sides met at the beginning of the season, thanks to a Danny Johnson hat trick. Brandon Comley opened the scoring before Johnson opened his account and the Saddlers found themselves two to the good after 45 minutes. The hosts capped off a dominant display in the second half as the 29-year-old added two further goals to complete his hat-trick on a stunning debut.
Walsall are away favorites ahead of this weekend’s encounter @ 5/4, whilst a rare home victory for Hartlepool is currently priced @ 21/10. We are backing Walsall to win to nil due to their historical dominance of this fixture in recent years and the Saddlers have only conceded twice in their last five league games.