Following a 4-1 loss to Scunthorpe, Walsall look the value pick at home to Millwall on Saturday afternoon to really get their season going.
The two teams left heartbroken by Barnsley in the play-offs last season go head to head at the Banks’s Stadium, neither having yet shifted the resulting hangover. Few would dispute that Millwall are the more reliable long-term proposition, and by far the more likely to finish in the top six again this term, but Walsall look the value here at 27/10 with home advantage.
A midweek 4-1 humbling at home to Scunthrope leaves the Saddlers languishing in the drop zone and bottom of the shot ratio table, but allowances should be made for the schedule. Jon Whitney’s men have played five of the top six teams in the division, according to my ratings, yet they’ve held their own against Bolton and Peterborough in the past fortnight.
Millwall head to the West Midlands on the back of a 3-1 defeat at nearby Port Vale, which was their third successive defeat conceding three goals in the process. Neil Harris is short of answers to explain the nosedive in form, save to say that his players must eradicate silly defensive errors. The Lions will be typically determined but their confidence could be fragile.
Whitney’s response to Walsall’s latest setback was a curious one, a no-holds-barred attempt to stoke an immediate reaction. "They have got to realise that what they do has a consequence," he said. "Not just in football but in life as well. It affects my family, my mortgage. It was men versus boys. I’ve told them to have a good, long, hard look at themselves."