Preview: Walsall vs. Stockport County – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League Two clash between Walsall and Stockport County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Walsall and Stockport County will go in search of their first League Two points in 2023-24 when they lock horns at Bescot Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides lost on the opening weekend of the new campaign, while neither team managed to progress in the EFL Cup in midweek.

Match preview

Stockport County players celebrate winning the penalty shoot out on May 20, 2023© Reuters

Walsall suffered an agonising 2-1 defeat at Morecambe on the opening weekend of the League Two season, with Farrend Rawson scoring the winning goal for the hosts in the 92nd minute.

However, the Saddlers can have very few complaints about losing their first league outing, as they managed to register a solitary attempt on target throughout the contest, with Danny Johnson getting on the scorehseet.

Three days later, Walsall pushed Championship side Blackburn Rovers all the way in the EFL Cup, only to suffer a 4-3 defeat at Ewood Park, while both teams racked up 13 shots in a frenetic clash in Lancashire.

Having finished between 12th and 19th in each of the past four seasons, Walsall will be desperate to end their stay in League Two by gaining promotion this time around, although new manager Mat Sadler has plenty of work to do.

On the topic of promotion, Stockport County almost secured back-to-back promotions last term, with their 2021-22 National League title triumph preceding a run to the 2022-23 League Two playoff final.

However, the Hatters’ campaign ultimately ended in disappointment as they suffered penalty heartache at Wembley against Carlisle United, despite finishing the regular season on a 13-game unbeaten streak.

Following the disappointment of the playoffs, Stockport started the new campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Gillingham last weekend, despite racking up 17 shots while enjoying the lion’s share of possession at Edgeley Park.

Like Walsall, Stockport also fell in the first round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday, with Sheffield Wednesday scoring a 97th-minute equaliser before inflicting yet more penalty misery on Dave Challinor‘s men.

Walsall League Two form:

Walsall form (all competitions):

Stockport County League Two form:

Stockport County form (all competitions):

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Team News

Walsall are expected to stick with the 4-5-1 formation that caused Blackburn plenty of problems in midweek, meaning that 21-year-old striker Douglas James-Taylor will lead the line for the hosts on Saturday.

The backline will likely feature Joe Foulkes, Oisin McEntee, Donervorn Daniels and Taylor Allen, while first-choice goalkeeper Owen Evans will replace cup stopper Jackson Smith between the sticks.

Stockport, on the other hand, should line up in a 3-5-2 formation, with Akil Wright, Fraser Horsfall and Ethan Pye occupying the centre-back roles ahead of goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe.

Having chalked up 11 goals and four assists last season, Paddy Madden is expected to partner Isaac Olaofe in attack, while midfielder Will Collar will look to build on his impressive tally of 13 goals and six assists in 2022-23.

Walsall possible starting lineup:
Evans; Foulkes, McEntee, Daniels, Allen; Strik, Riley, Comley, Tierney, Hussey; James-Taylor

Stockport County possible starting lineup:
Hinchcliffe; Wright, Horsfall, Pye; Richardson, Collar, Johnson, Lemonhrigh-Evans, Touray; Olaofe, Madden

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We say: Walsall 1-1 Stockport County

Given that both teams are yet to taste victory this season, we can see Walsall and Stockport County serving up a tense and cagey stalemate on Saturday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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