Macclesfield Town are back in Carabao Cup action tonight, as The Silkmen travel to Walsall for our second-round fixture.
Yates’ men took on Sky Bet League One’s Bradford City when last on Cup duty - Fiacre Kelleher’s first Silkmen goal was cancelled out by Luca Colville’s effort, before Rhys Taylor’s heroics denied two Bantam penalties helping Macc to win the shootout after full-time.
Walsall reached this stage after beating fellow League Two new boys Tranmere Rovers 3-1 a fortnight ago. Strikes from Morgan Ferrier, Josh Ginnelly and Zeli Ismail sealed a Second Round spot for The Saddlers, before a late Rovers consolation goal.
This evening’s hosts at the Banks’s Stadium are unbeaten in all competitions this season, however Macc are determined to ensure this run does not continue.
Elliott Durrell and Ryan Lloyd remain long-term absentees for the visitors, however the Manager could make a few changes to the starting eleven from Saturday’s draw, with Callum Evans, Callum Maycock and Malachi Napa playing 45 minutes against Mansfield Town after coming on as half-time subs.
Ben Stephens continues to recover from a thigh strain and is expected back soon, whilst Michael Rose also remains a doubt.
Peter Vincenti could also feature for the first time in Macc colours, after making the bench on Saturday.
One To Watch – Morgan Ferrier
Morgan Ferrier, who signed for the Saddlers days before their first match of the season, has started every Walsall match since joining.
This is impressive considering that this is the young forward’s debut season in the Football League, having previously played for the likes of Boreham Wood, Dagenham & Redbridge and Hemel Hempstead.
The 23-year-old, who began his career at Bishop’s Stortford, has already netted twice for The Saddlers this campaign, opening the scoring against Tranmere in the Carabao Cup before bagging his first League One goal against Gillingham.
Last season, Walsall finished just two points above the League One drop-zone, which lead to the dismissal of Jon Whitney in March with the club 14th in the league.
To replace him, they brought former player Dean Keates back to his home-town club and the 40-year-old ensured the Saddlers stayed up with one game to spare.
Walsall won back-to-back matches on just two occasions last season (only once in the League), however four wins in their last four shows signs that Keates has greatly improved his side over the summer break.
This is Walsall’s 12th consecutive campaign in League One after being crowned champions of England’s fourth tier in 2006/07 season, sealing their immediate return after being relegated to League Two the season before.
By Matt Bates