Our prediction for this League 2 match:
After suffering a heavy 5-1 loss to Port Vale at the weekend, Southend will be looking to escape the relegation zone when they take on Walsall on Matchday 28. The Seasiders suffered yet another dip in form, with the team losing each of their previous four league fixtures, and it should come as no surprise they are seen as underdogs in Saturday’s clash.
Walsall, on the other hand, desperately needed a win at Port Vale, and they managed to get one in style (3-1), with the team keeping their playoffs hopes alive. Considering that Southend have been totally out of form at the start of the year, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the Saddlers. In the first half of the season the Seasiders defeated the Saddlers thanks to Emile Acquah’s late goal, meaning that the visitors are hungry for revenge.
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.