Take a look at everything you need to know ahead of tonight's League Two encounter at The Banks's Stadium.
Walsall v Barrow
Friday 12th March 2021, 7pm
The Banks’s Stadium
Sky Bet League Two
Walsall were forced in to a change at the top last month following boss Darrell Clarke’s surprise move to Port Vale, with his assistant Brian Dutton promoted to Head Coach at The Banks’s Stadium.
The Saddlers are in their second season at League Two level following their relegation in 2018/19 and fans were hoping to see them challenge for a place back in the third tier this time around.
Those hopes would have been raised just before Christmas when an epic 4-3 win over Port Vale saw them sitting outside the play-off zone on goal difference alone on the back of four straight victories.
However, they have won just once in their 13 outings since then to fall out of contention for a top seven spot and slip to 19th in the table ahead of Friday’s meeting with Barrow.
One To Watch
Liam Kinsella has been on the books at Walsall since he was just eight years of age and has progressed through the ranks to become a regular in The Saddlers’ line-up.
A former Republic of Ireland Under 21 international, Kinsella debuted in 2014 but really announced himself in 2018/19 when he won the club’s Young Player of the Season award.
He has now passed 150 appearances in all competitions for Walsall and has become a mainstay in their midfield, missing only three games in League Two throughout 2020/21 so far.
Head To Head
Tonight’s game will be the 34th competitive meeting between the clubs in a rivalry stretching back to the 1921/22 Division Three North campaign.
The Saddlers have the edge historically having won 14 of the previous encounters in comparison to Barrow’s 10 triumphs and Walsall did the double last time the teams shared a division in 1969/70.
Indeed, you have to go back to the 1930s for Barrow’s last win over Walsall – a 1-0 victory on Monday 20th April 1936, which must have felt sweet having been thumped 5-1 in the corresponding fixture two days earlier.
Carl Brook will take charge of his first Barrow game of the campaign when he’s on the whistle for our trip to The Banks’s Stadium this evening.
The official joined Barrow in stepping up from the National League for 2020/21, joining the EFL’s list of referees for the first time at the start of the current season.
The last time he refereed a Bluebirds game was back in November 2018 when he saw us draw 1-1 at Boreham Wood as John Rooney’s 81st-minute goal was cancelled out at the death by Kieran Murtagh.
Walsall have been installed as 29/20 favourites for three points from the game, while The Bluebirds are rated a 9/5 shot and the draw is priced up at 11/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.
Match Passes to watch tonight’s game live on iFollow Barrow are now available – fans are reminded that Season Ticket holders do not get free access to away games.
Fans in the UK can buy a Match Pass to watch the action now priced at £10, while overseas supporters pay £7.
We would remind supporters that commentary attached to the live stream this evening will be provided by the home team, with BBC Radio Cumbria unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions.
We will also provide an audio commentary of the game as we link up with Walsall for their live coverage, due to BBC Radio Cumbria being prevented from travelling due to COVID-19 restrictions.
You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.
We’re inviting fans to join us on Zoom for a Walsall Watchalong tonight as part of our regular Friday evening Team Talk sessions, in association with the EFL and Mind.
We’ll be live on Zoom from 6.50pm and fans can join us to discuss the action as they watch it live on iFollow throughout the evening.