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Match Preview – Walsall vs Barnsley

Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 11.30am on Saturday.

Last Updated: 22/03/19 10:03am

Walsall winger Matt Jarvis could return after an ankle injury for the Sky Bet League One match against Barnsley.

The 32-year-old has been absent since the goalless draw with Burton at the start of the month but is in contention to rejoin the squad. Manager Dean Keates has to assess a couple of players who are carrying slight knocks but is hopeful of having a fully-fit squad.

Keates is also hopeful 21-year-old defender Kory Roberts could yet play before the end of the campaign as he has begun outdoor running as part of his rehabilitation from a broken leg suffered in pre-season.

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Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel will be without Adam Davies, Ryan Hedges and Kenny Dougall at the Bescot Stadium. Goalkeeper Davies and winger Hedges are on international duty with Wales, while midfielder Dougall suffered a broken leg in last Friday’s draw at Doncaster.

Midfielder Cameron McGeehan and winger Jacob Brown return to contention for the promotion-chasing Tykes after completing three-match suspensions. Defender Dani Pinillos could be passed fit following an eye problem, but leading goalscorer Kieffer Moore remains unavailable for the rest of the season due to a head injury.

2:23
Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Walsall.

Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Walsall.

Opta stats

This is the first meeting between Walsall and Barnsley at the Bescot Stadium since the second leg of the 2015-16 League One play-offs, which the Tykes won 3-1.

Including play-offs, Barnsley have only lost two of their last 11 league visits to Walsall (W6 D3).

Walsall have lost nine of their 13 league games in 2019 (W3 D1), including each of their last two – only Bolton Wanderers (10), Fulham (10) and Yeovil Town (11) have lost more across the top four tiers since the turn of the year.

Walsall vs Barnsley

March 23, 2019, 11:30am

Live on

Barnsley are unbeaten in 18 league games (W11 D7) – their longest unbeaten run in the Football League since going 20 games without defeat between October 1980 – January 1981, whilst only Luton Town (25) are currently on a longer unbeaten run across the top four tiers.

Goalkeeper Adam Davies has kept six consecutive clean sheets for Barnsley – the last goalkeeper to go longer without conceding in League One was Christian Walton for Wigan Athletic last season (7 consecutive clean sheets).

3:35
Highlights from the Sky Bet League One fixture between Doncaster and Barnsley.

Highlights from the Sky Bet League One fixture between Doncaster and Barnsley.

Prutton’s prediction

Walsall are nearly unrecogniseable from the side that started the season so well. They were hovering around the top six at one stage but have won just four games since the start of November.

Barnsley would have been disappointed not to beat Doncaster last Friday night and now they have Sunderland right on their shoulders. I fancy them to get back to winning ways here, though.

David Prutton predicts: 0-2 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

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