Few sides in the top four leagues in England have enjoyed better form over the past 10 fixtures than Mansfield, who will look to continue their surge up the League Two table when Walsall visit the One Call Stadium this weekend. Clear from the threat of relegation, the visitors will be looking to stem the hosts' flow.
Top of the form table, Mansfield entered the new year with the playoff spots in their sights and begin the weekend just one point behind seventh-placed Newport County. Bottom of the table as recently as early October, the Stags’ transformation under Nigel Clough has been nothing short of astonishing. Losers in just one of their previous eight League Two outings, Mansfield currently boast the division’s longest streak – five matches stretching back to late November.
With little much to play for, Walsall’s attention during the second half of the season will likely focus on consolidating their mid-table position, whilst looking to snatch points off those above them. Travelling to Mansfield having picked up just one win in their last seven matches across all competitions, the Saddlers are unlikely to pose much threat to the hosts, based off current form. Whilst they have had little issue finding the back of the net, one clean sheet since mid-November has troubled the Walsall backline and prevented them from challenging for a playoff berth.
However, recent history suggests Saturday’s meeting could be a profitable one for Walsall, as they are unbeaten in their last three clashes against Mansfield. Winners during the pairs’ meeting earlier this season, should the visitors pull off a surprise result, it will be the first time ever they’ve achieved the double over the Stags. For Mansfield, they boast just one win against Walsall since January 2007, with this weekend looking like the opportune moment to turn the tide of history.
In form and on fire, Mansfield should be comfortable winners.