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Match Previews

Saddlers host Shrimps in Sky Bet League Two

20 February 2024

Match Previews

Saddlers host Shrimps in Sky Bet League Two

20 February 2024

We head back on the road on Tuesday, as we visit the Poundland Bescot Stadium to face Walsall after the already rearranged Sky Bet League Two clash was postponed earlier this month.

Ged Brannan's men are unbeaten in four and will aim to continue their strong run of form in the midlands in midweek. The fixture, already rearranged because of FA Cup commitments, was postponed late in the day earlier this month due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Shrimps earned a hard-fought point last time out against AFC Wimbledon. Omar Bugiel opened the scoring for the Wombles in the five minutes into the second half before Chris Stokes netted a 74th minute equaliser. 

Stokesy Winner v AFC Wimbledon.jpg

Walsall return to the Poundland Bescot Stadium for the second time in three days having beaten Mansfield Town on home soil on Saturday.

The two sides met on the opening day of the current campaign when Farrend Rawson scored a 92nd minute winner to claim all three points for the Shrimps. Adam Mayor’s opening goal in the 25th minute was matched by a 38th minute Danny Johnson equaliser for the visitors before Rawson headed home his last-minute winner to secure an important opening day win for Morecambe.

The Opposition

Walsall have had quite a balanced campaign to date; 11 wins being matched by 11 losses, with an additional nine draws leaving the Saddlers on 42 points. At the time of writing, Walsall sit six places and five points behind the Shrimps.

Sadler has been in charge at the Poundland Bescot stadium since the latter stages of the 2022/23 season, after spending three seasons at the club as a player between 2019 and 2022.

Key Players

Isaac Hutchinson leads the goalscoring charts for the Saddlers, the attacking midfielder scoring 13 and assisting six in all competitions so far this season. The 23-year-old joined the club in the summer of 2022, and has bagged four goals since the turn of the year.

Mo Faal.jpg

Centre-forward Mo Faal has made the move to the Poundland Bescot Stadium during the January transfer window, and will no doubt be an important part of the remainder of their campaign. The 20-year-old, who is on loan from West Bromwich Albion, has already scored nine goals in all competitions this season while on loan at Doncaster Rovers, and will be hoping to continue this form during his time at Walsall.

Ged Brannan’s Pre-Match Thoughts

Morecambe manager Ged Brannan emphasised the importance of hard work following an unbeaten February to date.

He said: "We've had game plans and the lads have stuck to them and they've worked, but also, they've put some shifts in [over] the last few games; they've worked so hard, the GPS' have told us how far they've run.

"It's like any job isn't it? If you don't work hard, you don't do your job properly and I've told the lads from day one, they've got to be a hard-working team. 

"We certainly are at the minute, we're covering every blade of grass on the pitch, and they're all working for each other as well which is great."

The Man in the Middle

Craig Hicks will take charge on Tuesday night, the referee officiating his 20th fixture of the season. In his previous 19, he has brandished 75 yellow cards and an additional three reds.

Craig Hicks.jpg

Hicks last took charge of a fixture of involving the Shrimps during the 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season, when Morecambe made the trip over to Derby County.

He will be joined by assistants Emily Carney and Steven Rushton, with fourth official James Oldham completing the line-up.

Team News

Long-term absentees Stu Moore, Donald Love JJ McKiernan and Brandon Barker remain sidelined as they continue their fight back to fitness.

Watch Live!

Supporters who cannot make it to the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Tuesday night can watch from home with an iFollow Shrimps video match pass.

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