Port Vale v Walsall preview

Date published: Friday 8th August 2014 12:35

A handful of Port Vale players are expected to shake off minor knocks in time for the opening game of the season at home to Walsall.

Richard Duffy, Michael Brown and Colin Daniel were all rested for Vale’s final pre-season friendly against West Brom on Tuesday night while Tom Pope came off at half-time in that game because of a groin strain. However, manager Micky Adams is confident all four will be fit for Saturday.

Carl Dickinson will lead out the team after being given the armband by Adams. The 27-year-old defender, who signed a new two-year contract over the summer, replaces Doug Loft, following the midfielder’s departure to Gillingham.

“There were a few contenders for the decision and I had to think long and hard about it,” said Adams. “However, I’ve given it to Carl not only because of his attitude to the games, but also because of the way he conducts himself in and around the place and what he does on the training pitch.”

Walsall will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing end to last season when they travel to Vale Park.

The Saddlers picked up just two points from their final six fixtures to finish 13th.

Dean Smith has brought in Tom Bradshaw from Shrewsbury, Jordan Cook from Charlton, Derby’s James O’Connor, Craig MacGillivray from Harrogate and Bury’s Ashley Grimes to help strengthen his squad.

Sam Mantom managed to return from injury in this week’s warm-up clash with Aston Villa and Smith said: “I’m comfortable with where we’re at in terms of the squad.”

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Port Vale v Walsall preview

Date published: Friday 4th April 2014 3:42

Chris Robertson is available for Port Vale’s home clash with Walsall but Chris Lines begins a suspension.

Defender Robertson was sent off against Crawley on Tuesday night following a challenge by his team-mate Lines. Vale appealed against Robertson’s red card on the grounds of wrongful dismissal and won their case.

However, the red card was transferred to Lines and the midfielder must now serve a four-match ban having already been sent off this season.

Ben Williamson missed out against Crawley due to an ankle injury and the striker will continue to be monitored ahead of Saturday, when Vale will attempt to complete a league double over Walsall for the first time since the 1899/1900 season.

Walsall will be without top scorer Craig Westcarr when they travel to Port Vale.

The striker received a straight red card in last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury and starts his three-game suspension.

Westcarr is set to be replaced by on-loan Chelsea youngster Milan Lalkovic, who is fit again after missing the Shrews clash with a hamstring injury.

That win extended Walsall’s unbeaten run to five games but they fell five points adrift of the play-off places following Peterborough’s midweek victory.

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Port Vale v Walsall preview

Date published: Tuesday 6th August 2013 9:44

Port Vale have no new problems ahead of their League Cup opener.

Joe Davis missed out with a knee injury as the Valiants got their League One campaign under way on Saturday with a 1-1 home draw against Brentford but the young defender has now resumed training, leaving long-term absentee Rob Taylor as the only player unavailable for the first round tie.

Assistant manager Mark Grew was keeping his cards close to his chest as regards team selection, he told the club’s official website: “Daniel Jones jarred his thumb so that’s not a problem and everybody else has trained, so I can’t see any problems. But we won’t be naming the side just yet.

“We will be having a little think about it in the next few hours and so the lads don’t know the side yet.”

Andy Taylor is set to return to contention for Saddler’s first-round trip to the West Midlands.

The defender missed Saturday’s impressive season-opening 3-1 victory over Tranmere at the Banks’s Stadium with an ankle problem.

But he has recovered sufficiently in time for the trip to Vale Park, where the Saddlers will bid to make the League Cup second round in successive seasons for the first time since 2003.

Otherwise, manager Dean Smith has a fully-fit squad to select from.

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