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League Two | Gameweek 27
Feb 20, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Poundland Bescot Stadium

3 - 0

Tierney (13'), Matt (26'), Adegboyega (65')
Comley (23'), Gordon (58'), Knowles (62'), Earing (90+1')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Brannan (24'), Stokes (53'), Tutonda (80')

Preview: Walsall vs. Morecambe - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League Two clash between Walsall and Morecambe, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Walsall have the chance to leapfrog Morecambe in the League Two table when the two outfits square off at Banks's Stadium on Tuesday night.

Mat Sadler's men settled for a point in a 1-1 draw with Gillingham at the weekend, while the visitors emerged victorious 2-1 in their meeting with Crawley Town.

Match preview

Walsall manager Mat Sadler before the match on December 2, 2023© Reuters

After taking the lead against Sutton United only to lose their slender advantage on January 27, a similar story befell Walsall during their stopover in Gillingham, where Isaac Hutchinson propelled Sadler's team into the lead with his ninth goal of the season from the penalty spot.

Sadler's Saddlers were only in the ascendancy for 15 minutes, though, as Conor Masterson restored parity for playoff outsiders Gillingham to force a share of the spoils at Priestfield Stadium, extending Walsall's winless run to four games since their New Year's Day decimation of Grimsby Town by six goals to one.

For the second game running, Walsall were undone by a long throw-in as they threw another two points down the drain, leaving them 15th in the standings but mathematically far closer to the playoff spots than the relegation zone; they are just six points behind Notts County and 16 better off than Sutton United.

With just a two-point disadvantage to make up to upcoming foes Morecambe, only a second win of 2024 will see Walsall rise above the Shrimps in the mid-table rankings, but a run of six games without a clean sheet in all tournaments will do Walsall no favours.

Banks's Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for visiting teams in recent memory, though, as Walsall are on a six-game unbeaten streak in front of their own fans, during which time they have posted four clean sheets while only conceding a pair of goals.

Referee Ben Toner speaks to Morecambe's Ryan Cooney on November 8, 2022© Reuters

However, each of Morecambe's last two away games in League Two has seen the Shrimps triumph thanks to a pair of goals, as Ged Brannan's team edged out MK Dons 2-1 on January 20 before being put to the sword at home by basement-dwelling Colchester United seven days later.

Morecambe quickly made amends for that Mazuma Stadium shortcoming when faced with a Crawley-sized test on Saturday, as despite trailing to Harry Forster's early opener, Gerard Garner levelled matters in the 35th minute before bagging his all-important second goal in the closing stages.

Garner's brace was just what the doctor ordered for the 25-year-old, who is back in supporters' good books after missing a penalty in the recent loss to Colchester, and his efforts have propelled Morecambe up to 12th spot in the table heading into Tuesday's intriguing fixture.

While the Shrimps have not managed a single win at home since late October - before Brannan had even been appointed head coach - each of their last five victories in all competitions have come on rival territory, where they have chalked up multiple goals in eight of their last 11 League Two affairs.

Furthermore, Morecambe came up trumps 2-1 when they locked horns with Walsall on the opening day of the League Two season, extending their unbeaten run over the Saddlers to four games since their first and only defeat to date in September 2019, where Stuart Sinclair struck the only goal of the game.

Walsall League Two form:

Walsall form (all competitions):

Morecambe League Two form:

Morecambe form (all competitions):

Team News

Walsall's Andy Williams celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 8, 2023© Reuters

Walsall left Gillingham's Priestfield home with no new injury concerns to factor in for the midweek tie, and Saturday's match also saw midfielder Ross Tierney make his first League Two appearance since December 9, having been absent with a hamstring problem.

Aramide Oteh (hamstring) and Joe Riley (knee) are also stepping up their recoveries and will soon be at Sadler's disposal again, but Tuesday's game is likely to come too soon for the pair to make their competitive comebacks.

For the second league fixture running, Owen Evans was given the nod in goal over Jackson Smith - who had played eight fourth-tier games on the spin before being cut from the XI against Sutton - and Sadler will likely see no reason to swap out the former this week.

As far as Morecambe are concerned, Julian Larsson was immediately brought into the first XI for the trip to Crawley after his deadline-day arrival from Nottingham Forest, as was Bolton Wanderers-owned Nelson Khumbeni, who lasted 68 minutes in the midfield.

Brannan saw no players leave the field worse for wear either, so unless fatigue forces his hand, an unchanged starting lineup could very well take to the turf in midweek.

Walsall possible starting lineup:
Evans; Knowles, Farquharson, Daniels, Okagbue, L. Gordon; Stirk, Comley; Hutchinson; Faal, Gordon

Morecambe possible starting lineup:
Mair; Senior, Bedeau, Rawson, Tutonda; Khumbeni, Songo'o; Brown, Adams, Larsson; Garner

SM words green background

We say: Walsall 1-1 Morecambe

Morecambe would do well to cause chaos with long throws into the Walsall box, but the Saddlers are an extremely tough nut to crack at Banks's Stadium and have all the motivation they need to succeed on Tuesday.

The visitors' penchant for goalscoring on the road should still help them to a degree, as will their superior head-to-head record, but we are finding it impossible to separate the two outfits on this occasion; a third successive 1-1 for Walsall could be on the cards.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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