Walsall vs Bristol Rovers preview: How to watch, kick-off time, predicted lineups, team news, officiating and ones to watch
Above: Walsall midfielder Liam Kinsella in action against Crystal Palace during pre-season. (Photo taken by James Williamson/Getty Images)

Walsall will host Bristol Rovers this coming Saturday at 15:00BST, as both teams look to pull away from the dreaded relegation zone.

The home side had a shaky start to the season under new manager Matthew Taylor, having to wait four games before their first three points of the season.

Joey Barton's Bristol Rovers side are just one point behind the Saddlers, with just two league victories from their opening eight outings.

The Gas will look to avoid their third consecutive defeat after suffering losses to  Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient previously.

Walsall will be without key man Liam Kinsella, who is undergoing knee surgery after picking up an injury against Newport County.

Conor Wilkinson (hamstring) and Rory Holden (knee) will both remain absent for Taylor's side.

Rollin Menayese may have a chance to feature against his former club, after previously having a spell with the Gas between 2017 to 2020.

Meanwhile with Barton's side, they have had a rather peculiar injury run recently, with Mark Hughes (achilles), Anssi Jaakkola (achilles) and Josh Grant (foot) all suffering injuries in training.

The Gas' problems don't end there, with their treatment room currently stacked. Sam Nicholson (shin), Trevor Clarke (groin), Alex Rodman (illness) and Luca Hoole (calf) will all likely be missing too.

James Belshaw may start against the team he began his career at.

  • Predicted lineups

Walsall: Rushworth; White, Menayese, Monthe, Ward, Phillips, Perry, Earing, Shade, Osadebe, Miller

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw; Grant, Kilgour, Taylor, Anderton, Brown, Finley, Whelan, Evans, Collins, Pitman

  • Ones to watch

George Miller

A hungry forward who has had a great start to his career with Walsall, Miller's loan arrival has been a breath of fresh air for the Saddlers.

With two goals in his opening three games, Miller netted twice to help  Walsall mastermind a victory over Mansfield Town. The forward has brute pace and is composed in front of goal, and despite struggling for Scunthorpe United last season, Miller has a big chance to establish himself in League Two this year.

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Antony Evans 

Despite not netting his first goal of the season yet, Evans has looked bright in his opening few games for Bristol Rovers.

The midfielder was in Sky Bet League One last season and in the German second division the year before that, so the attacking playmaker boasts experience of a higher level of football. With attackers like Brett Pitman and Aaron Collins ahead of him, Evans should start boosting his stats pretty soon.

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  • Officiating

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Assistant referees: Greg Read/Ollie Williams

Fourth official: Declan Ford

  • Previous meeting

​​​​​​​These two sides last faced each other in league action in League One, but did clash heads in the FA Cup last November.

Two quickfire goals from Jack Baldwin and Brandon Hanlan mean that Caolan Lavery's late goal was just a consolation, with Bristol Rovers advancing to the second round of the FA Cup.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This game is a 15:00 BST kick-off, but unfortunately cannot be watched in the UK. However, it can be watched internationally through the clubs' streaming services on their website. Tickets are also still available for the match.​​​​​​​

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