Date:Friday November 2 2012
This weekend sees Lincoln City take on Walsall in the first round of the FA Cup at Sincil Bank. It is a welcome return to the FA Cup after the side crashed out in the qualifying rounds last season in a replay against Alfreton Town. The Imps are currently on a good run of form in the lead up to this match and are unbeaten in their previous five matches in all competitions.
Walsall are in League One currently and sit in 13th place in the league, one glimmer of hope for the Imps is that the Saddlers have not won a league game in six consecutive matches now but there is no deny the gulf in quality between the two sides . The difference is highlighted with the fact that the sides have not faced each other since 2007 on that occasion the Imps won 2-1.
Walsall manager Dean Smith signed a new two and a half year contract this week and I am of no doubts that he will want to celebrate this with a win and passage into the second round of the Cup this weekend. The financial reward of getting through would be a huge boost for the Imps, the prize money alone for winning this tie is around £18k, no small amount considering our current situation. Money like that could certainly help us when it comes to bringing in some quality in midfield.
The Imps will come into this match with a few injury concerns, Peter Gilbert, who this week signed a permanent contract will hopefully be fit enough to return to the starting eleven following a poor defensive performance from the Imps last week. Rob Duffy is still out and doesn't look much nearer to playing then he has for a few months now. Gary Mills returned to training this week but I would think it unlikely he will return to the starting line up so soon.
Walsall will have the returning defender James Chambers back after he returned to the side last weekend following a two month spell on the sidelines. Their dangerman that the Imps will need to keep a close eye on will be Flo Cuvelier, a small tricky Belgian forward who may be too much to handle for our defence, I have grave concerns over Robson if he is pitted against a player of Flos ability.
For the Imps Jamie Taylor is the man who we will look to, he has been in superb form of late and picked up the player of the month award in the Conference Premier for October. A tough match no doubt, I hope we don't let an early goal in like we have too many times this season, if that happens then I can see Walsall controlling the game and winning comfortably. If we do see it out until half time with a clean sheet then who knows, I am thinking this could be a draw, 0-0 and a replay for the Imps.
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Date:Friday November 2 2012
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