City completed an unbeaten September with a hard-fought draw at Hartlepool, and will be looking to continue that form into September against a side that has struggled so far. Sam Nombe continued to show his development in City colours with the equaliser, while Archie Collins made a welcome return from the bench as Matt Taylor now appears to have a number of options in most positions. Collins will be hoping to make his first start of the season on Saturday although Taylor may instead consider the midweek EFL Trophy tie at Cheltenham as the better option in terms of easing him back into the line-up.
If you hear “Matt Taylor’s red and white army” blasting from all four sides of the ground on Saturday, you could be forgiven for thinking some naughty City fans had infiltrated the away end. However, in the summer Walsall went in for the ex-Portsmouth, Bolton and West Ham player to take charge – causing confusion amongst some of the bookies who thought they were after City’s boss. Taylor had to cope with the loss of the likes of Josh Gordon and Caolan Lavery, but has sought to bolster the squad with players such as Conor Wilkinson and Joss Labadie, while Manny Monthe and Ash Taylor add bite in defence. It’s fair to say that things haven’t gone entirely to plan as yet, with the Saddlers in 22nd place heading into Saturday’s fixture after a 2-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers. Goals have been a bit of an issue with Kieran Phillips leading the way with three in all competitions.
Last season’s fixtures, perhaps unlike those the previous season, won’t live long in the memory as both matches finished 0-0. Those results meant City haven’t beaten Walsall in the four meetings since the Saddlers were relegated in 2019, the last win coming in the doomed 11/12 season. Walsall have the lead in league head to heads with 32 wins to City’s 25, 13 matches finishing level. 20 recent results between the two sides can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=10419
Match officials for the game will be:-
Referee: Peter Wright
Assistant Referees: Kevin Morris and Paul Lister
Fourth Official : Adam Ricketts
There have been four games in charge of Exeter City for Peter Wright, details – https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=peter+wright