Tranmere Rovers vs Walsall match preview

Friday night football returns to Prenton Park for the second time in 2006 this Friday as Rovers take on Walsall in a proverbial "six pointer".

Tranmere will be hoping to record their third straight win for just the second time this season whilst Walsall will be hoping to run back to the Midlands with three points to help them scramble away from relegation as the business end of the season approaches.

Previous Meetings:

Rovers have met Walsall just once his season, playing in League One at The Bescott Stadium with the game ending 0-0, although Steve Davies did have a goal ruled out for offside and Steve Wilson made two or three brilliant saves.

Last season Tranmere also played Walsall at The Bescott Stadium over Christmas, winning 2-0 on 28th December thanks to goals from Jason McAteer (a cross which turned into a shot!) and Ryan Taylor.

At Prenton Park in January, Rovers also scored two goals, this time winning 2-1. Two strikers who have now left the club, Iain Hume and then Chris Dagnall gave Rovers a two goal lead by the 50 minute mark before Jorge Leitao pulled one back with 28 minutes left to make it a nail biting finish.

Vital Stats:

Three of Rovers four scorers against Walsall last season have now left the club, to Wigan Athletic, Leicester City and Rochdale.

Walsall have won 7 out of 27 visits to Prenton Park, just under 26%

Tranmere average 1.78 (48 goals in 27 games) goals per game against Walsall at Prenton Park to Walsalls 0.96 (26 goals in 27 games)

Walsall haven't won at Prenton Park since 4th March 1980

Walsall have only made four trips to Prenton Park since their victory here in 1980.

The Form Book:

Tranmere last 6 Home Games: DDWDLW
Walsall last 6 Away Games: LLLDDD

Having now picked up two wins on the bounce Rovers are growing in confidence. Their recent demolishion of Chesterfield was their first home win for over a month.

Before that game against Chesterfield (which Rovers won 4-1), Tranmere were two games without a win and goal after a defeat to Barnsley (1-0) and draw with Hartlepool (0-0) on Valentines day.

The stats are good for Rovers if the score however, as in all of the last four home games they have managed to find the net, they have gone on to win the game, not draw. Unfortunatly, along with those four games they have failed to score in four games, which have ended 0-0 (Southend, Bournemouth and Hartlepool) and 1-0 (Barnsley).

Since sacking player/manager Paul Merson on February 6th, after a 5-0 defeat to Brentford two days earlier, Walsall's form has been no better than when he was at the club.

They have played five games without the former England midfielder, drawing four of them and losing one.

In their last three away games against Swansea, Colchester and Southend, Walsall have managed just one goal, whilst conceeding the same amount. Draws at all three grounds were respectable results, ending 0-0 at Colchester and Southend whilst their travelling away fans were only blessed with a goal at Swansea when it finished 1-1.

Tranmere however really shouldn't be too worried about Walsall's away form. Their last away win came against non-league Merthyr Tydfil (2-1) in the F.A. Cup first round, whilst their last away league win was on Saturday 24th September when they won 3-1 at Glanford Park, one of only five away grounds where Tranmere have won this season.

That means they haven't won away from the Bescott Stadium in 13 games. Of these 13 games, five have been drawn and eight lost. They have scored just nine goals in these eight games, conceeding 27 in the same amount of games.

Tranmere Team News:

John Achterberg is out for the remainder of the season so will miss out whilst it is expecterd Jason McAteer and Carl Tremarco will recover from injuries sustained against Chesterfield at the weekend.


Jones' Prediction: Tranmere 2-0 Walsall. Zola and McAteer (if he plays) to score for Rovers

Top 15:

Walsall fan David Ford-Williams takes on our Famous Top 15

  1. Who are you, what’s your age and how long have you been supporting your club.

David Ford Williams, 14 years old and I've been a Walsall fan for nine

  1. What’s your best moment as a football fan of your club?

    Promotion in the 2002/03 season

  1. And the worst?

    Relegated by one goal in the 2003/04 season

  1. Which player has been your all time favourite for your club?

    Jorge Leitao

  1. And who is your current favourite?

    Deano Keates
  2. What’s your favourite away ground in League one?

    Not sure, I don't go to many away games but, out of them, Port Vale.

  1. What has your form of late been like?

    Not too good last five games, DDLDD

  1. Who’s the “one to watch”?

    Ant Gerrard

  2. Do you have any youngsters to look out for?

    I don't think so

  1. What’s your biggest threat, as in corners, set pieces etc.

    Penalties!
  2. At the start of the season, what was your predicted finish for the season?

    The play-offs

  1. Where do you see yourselves finishing now?

    Just above the relegation zone

  1. Do you think either of Tranmere or your team will get relegated or promoted?

    No

  1. Are you a little surprised by Tranmere’s performance so far this season?

    Very Surprised

  1. Finally, your prediction for today’s game?

Tranmere 1-1 Walsall – Facey for Tranmere and Barrowman for Walsall

I'd like to thank David for taking the time to answer the questions and wish him and his team all the best for the season after Friday!