Our prediction for this League 2 match:
Southend United will be looking to keep their survival hopes alive when they take on Walsall in the League Two round 28. The Seasiders are seven points behind the safe zone, meaning that this has to go down as somewhat of a must-win game for the hosts. The great news for the hosts is that Arsenal on-loan midfielder James Olayinka has recovered from a long-term injury. The likes of Harry Lennon, Nile Ranger, Nathan Ralph, and Lewis Gard remain in the recovery room.
The Saddlers, on the other hand, suffered three defeats in the previous four league fixtures. Walsall do not seem to be at the top of their game, and given the importance of Tuesday’s clash for the hosts, we believe that there is a big value in betting on Mark Molesley’s charges. James Clarke is fully fit for the visitors, while Hayden White misses the game through suspension.
Highlighted Player (Mark Oxley):
Born in Sheffield, England, on the 2nd of June, 1990, Oxley's football journey started as a Rotherham youth product. The English International signed his first professional contract with the Millers in 2007 but failed to make a single appearance for the club during that season.
The following season, he signed for Hull City, who, in turn, sent him out on successive loans to clubs like Walsall, Grimbsy Town, Oldham Athletic, and Hibernian. The 6ft 3-inch goalkeeper's professional debut meanwhile, came on the 27th of February, 2010, playing for Grimbsy in a 2-0 away loss to Dagenham in League Two. Oxley's performance during his six-month loan period with Hibernian earned him a permanent deal. He signed a two-year contract starting with the club in July 2015. In his time at the Scottish outfit, he made 90 appearances and kept 35 clean sheets. Oxley then joined his current club Southend in July 2016 on an initial two-year deal.
He had a fantastic first season, winning both fans' player of the year and players' player of the year awards. As of August 2018, Oxley has signed a contract extension and also got given the captain's armband. On the International forefront, the 29-year-old is a former youth International having capped once for England at the under-18 level.
Highlighted Team (Walsall):
Founded in 1888, Walsall are a professional club that play home matches at Bescot Stadium. The capacity of the venue is 11,300 people and it was opened in 1990. Nicknamed the Saddlers, Walsall footballers wear red shirts and white shorts when playing in front of home fans, while black is the dominant colour of their away kit.
Walsall played out a goalless draw with Aston Villa on April 9, 1888 in their first ever game, with the team recording their biggest win on March 4, 1899 against Darwen (10-0). The Saddlers suffered their biggest defeat on December 17, 1892 as they were beaten by Small Heath 12-0.
Walsall fans consider wolverhampton wanderers the club’s biggest rivals, but the Saddlers have rivalries with Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale as well as the two clubs are only 30 miles away from Walsall. Crystal Palace centre-back Scott Dann is one of the most notable footballers who played for the Bescot Stadium.