Striker Jabo Ibehre leads the Walsall attack on a Coca Cola League One revenge mission against his old club Leyton Orient on Saturday (3pm).
He is out to prove the Londoners were wrong to let him go at the end of last season, and the Saddlers need to wipe out the memory of their 2-0 home defeat by Orient in September.
Ibehre is a big favourite at the Banks’s Stadium because of his non-stop graft, but he really should have a better goal haul than the seven he has managed in his 32 full appearances so far.
He is, however, a player who always receives praise from the opposition for the way he unselfishly leads the Walsall attack, and he could be the man to increase Orient’s relegation fears, even though their results have improved in recent weeks.
Walsall are hoping to have a new central defender in the line up at Brisbane Road. Anthony Gerrard is out for up to a month with a calf injury, sustained on Tuesday,and at the time of writing manager Chris Hutchings was phoning all his contacts in the game seeking to sign a player on loan.
With Stephen Roberts a long-term casualty at Bescot it means the Saddlers have both their first choice centre-backs watching from seats in the stand - as well as the suspended top-scorer Michael Ricketts.
After the embarrassment of that 5-0 home defeat by Bristol Rovers last Saturday, Walsall responded in exactly the right way by beating Brighton 3-0 on Tuesday night, to record their third double of the season and move onto 51points.
Assistant manager Martin O’Connor said: “The Bristol Rovers performance was a blip and it was important we bounced back. No matter who we played we had to put in a performance of energy, drive, passion and quality.
“We played good football against Brighton and scored three good goals. That’s the standard we have and we’ve got to be better, starting at Orient.”
Mark Bradley, who will miss next week’s home game with Cheltenham because he is on duty with the Welsh Under-21 squad, scored one goal and helped create the third on Tuesday, and he said: “It was a good result, and we kept a clean sheet.
“I think I did well and hope to stay in the side at Orient. Martin O’Connor has been very helpful to me and gives me a lot of motivation.”
Bradley played from the start against Brighton because skipper Stephen Hughes was unavailable through ‘family reasons’.
Hughes could be back in the squad at Brisbane Road, though.
Two other Walsall youngsters did well against Brighton. Troy Deeney scored his 11th goal of the season and Alex Nicholls was the man-of-the-match after creating two of the three goals.
The Walsall team to face Orient will be selected from: Ince, Palmer, Weston, Smith, Boertien, Nicholls, Bradley, Mattis, Zaaboub, Ibehre, Deeney, Taundry, Shroot, Sansara, Gilmartin.*International football returns to the Banks’s Stadium next Wednesday, March 25, when the England Under-19 team meet the Czech Republic in a friendly match, kick-off 7pm. Tickets purchased in advance cost only £3, with £1 concessions. On match day the price goes up to £5.
l See page 23 for our great ticket giveaway.