Walsall v Blackpool preview
Last Updated: 31/08/18 12:18pm
Zeli Ismail could return to the Walsall team as the Saddlers look to bounce back from their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Macclesfield.
The midfielder has missed three straight games with a knock but could line up against Blackpool in Sky Bet League One this weekend as boss Dean Keates plots a third straight league win to cure the hangover of Tuesday's penalty shootout defeat to the Silkmen.
Liam Kinsella, Kane Wilson and Chris Dunn had pushed for action and were put back in the starting XI in midweek, so given they were on a losing side their ongoing positions could be in doubt. Midfielder Joe Edwards (knee) and defender Kory Roberts (broken leg) are long-term absentees.
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Blackpool interim boss Terry McPhillips was impressed with Michael Nottingham and Harry Pritchard's performances in the Carabao Cup win at Doncaster and could retain the pair for Saturday's game. Since Gary Bowyer's departure, McPhillips has made sure to give every player opportunities to impress and defender Nottingham and midfielder Pritchard both scored at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday.
Ryan McLaughlin is still to make his Blackpool debut having signed from Oldham in the summer and McPhillips says the Northern Irish defender is "the closest of the injured lads to coming back". Nathan Delfouneso continues to wait for a recall while winger Liam Feeney - a summer arrival from Blackburn - managed over an hour against Doncaster following his return to match fitness.
Walsall and Blackpool have drawn each of the last three meetings, 1-1 in January 2016, 1-1 in October 2017 and 2-2 in February 2018.
Blackpool have not won in any competition at Walsall in their last 16 visits (D7 L9), last winning 3-2 in August 1980 in a League Cup tie.
Walsall have won promotion in three of the four previous Football League seasons they've won at least four of their opening five league matches.
Walsall have hit the woodwork more often than any other League One side this season (4).
Blackpool's League One matches have produced seven goals this season (four scored, three conceded), fewer than any other team.