Match Preview: Walsall

Leicester are entering some serious fixture congestion. The Foxes will play two games every week until at least the middle of November. It’s fortunate that many absentees are returning to fitness just in time for the calendar crunch. Paul Dickov, Patrick Kisnorbo and Joe Mattock are all back fit and available for selection, leaving Nigel Pearson with one of those headaches he probably doesn’t mind all too much.

Previous Meetings
Leicester and Walsall only met five times in the 20th Century, with the Foxes winning four. The most recent meetings between the two sides came in City’s last successful promotion campaign. At the end of the season the two teams made for separate exits from Division One.

Second half goals from Matt Heath and James Scowcroft were enough to cast Walsall aside at the Walkers Stadium in November 2002. The Walsall team that day contained former City man Steve Corica. This time it will be a Fox facing his old club as Matty Fryatt aims to put one past his former employers.

Reasons To Be Confident
Walsall’s 9th position in League One does appear to be something of a false one. The Saddlers only played three sides in the top half and eight in the bottom half.

Walsall also appear to be in something of a slump. Jimmy Mullen’s men have only taken one point from the last nine and threw away a 2-0 half-time lead at home to Hartlepool this weekend, losing 3-2.

In contrast, Leicester are unbeaten in five matches, with a winning streak of four games only interrupted by the point at Oldham on Saturday.

Reasons To Be Worried
Walsall haven’t lost away from home since August and have only conceded four goals on their travels this season. Expect a tight game.

There appear to be few other statistical reasons to back Walsall. Foxblogger dislikes intangibles, especially as footballs have developed a tendency to hit the woodwork multiple times in quick succession this weekend. We’ve yet to see a real freak occurrence involving Leicester this season, but there is always time for a first.

Sky Bet have Walsall down at 5/1 for a win. That’s extremely generous in a two horse race. Hedge fund managers may not be all that popular at the moment, but hedge betting here could net a tidy profit. If you can deal with betting against your own side, this might be worth it.

On This Day
Leicester recorded their last win to date at Bramall Lane on this day in 1995. David Lowe, Iwan Roberts and Scott Taylor were on target for the Foxes as their imperious away record under Mark McGhee continued with a 3-1 victory against the Blades.

Selected Odds
Leicester – 4/6 (Boylesports)
Draw – 11/4 (Bet365)
Walsall – 5/1 (SkyBet)

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