Preview: Doncaster Rovers quick to Saddle up for Walsall test

Liam Mandeville scored his first goal for Rovers when these sides last met - but Walsall ran out 2-1 winners.
Liam Mandeville scored his first goal for Rovers when these sides last met - but Walsall ran out 2-1 winners.

There was no basking in the glory of an excellent win over Portsmouth for Doncaster Rovers – certainly if boss Darren Ferguson could help it.

Mere minutes after sealing the 2-1 triumph over Pompey on Tuesday, Ferguson was instructing his players to switch their attention to this weekend’s visit of Walsall to the Keepmoat.

With the need to begin stringing together positive results rather stark, the Rovers boss knows victory over Walsall will help maintain the momentum from midweek, particularly with his side finally picking up wins at the Keepmoat.

“I said to the players straight after the game to start focusing on Saturday,” Ferguson said.

“If we can get another win, it’s three wins out of four and three wins on the bounce at home.

“I’ll be very pleased if we can do that.

“It’s important we focus on Saturday and make sure we can get that win.

“I’ve already put it to them because it’ll be that good run of form and it would be the first back-to-back wins of the season.

“It’s an important game but certainly we’ll have the confidence going into it.

“If I see a lot of the things I saw on Tuesday then hopefully we can get a similar result.”

Walsall sit a place and a point above Rovers in League One heading into Saturday’s clash.

The Saddlers have not won in their last six matches, drawing five of those and have only three league victories under their belts so far this term.

Ferguson believes Rovers will carry a new degree of confidence into their meeting with Jon Whitney’s side following their impressive win over Portsmouth.

“They played three at the back against Blackpool on Saturday and they’ve switched between a three and a four mainly this season.

“We’re at home and we want to be on the front foot.

“We know it’s an opportunity, we feel, not because it’s Walsall but because we’re at home where we’ve made it two wins out of two.

“We’ll try to make sure it’s a third.”

Walsall opted for a 4-5-1 system in their 1-1 draw with MK Dons on Tuesday night.

TEAM NEWS

John Marquis is available after serving a one-game ban. James Coppinger and Andy Williams could also return from injury.

Rodney Kongolo might be the unlucky one to miss out.

Probable (3-4-3): Lawlor; Wright, Butler, Baudry; Blair, Houghton, Whiteman, Toffolo; Mandeville, Rowe, Marquis.

LAST MEETING

Rovers 1 Walsall 2, February 2, 2016

Liam Mandeville’s first ever goal for Doncaster proved to be a consolation as Walsall completed the double over Rovers.

Sam Mantom and Andy Taylor netted for the Saddlers.

OMINOUS STATS

Walsall have won the last five games between these sides.

They have also won on their last four visits to Doncaster.

PLAYED FOR BOTH

Andy Butler was a very popular captain of Walsall during his four-year stint there from 2010-2014.

The Doncaster-born defender scored against Rovers when Walsall won 2-1 at the Keepmoat in 2013.

FORM GUIDE

Rovers: LLWWLW

Walsall: DLDDDD

MATCH ODDS

Rovers 4/5 Draw 13/5 Walsall 100/30