A brief introduction
Plymouth Argyle’s long awaited first game of the season comes against a side who narrowly avoided the drop down to League Two last season and have only been weakened in the process. Derek Adams will be looking for only his second win from an opening game during his tenure as Argyle manager after starting with a defeat in the last two seasons and beating Wimbledon in his first competitive outing as Argyle manager. With a lot of new signings, it will be interesting to see how Adams sets up for this new season. Who knows, hopefully another promotion push: something that would certainly be made a lot easier without the horror opening of the season we had in the last campaign. Argyle will be under pressure to set off on the right foot.
It is Walsall who are Argyle’s hosts in this hotly anticipated fixture, but despite adding several new faces, Walsall are without Kory Roberts and obviously lost their talisman Erhun Oztumer to Bolton, a real loss as he topped the goal scoring sheet at Walsall last season. The Saddlers have had a really tough preseason including two losses to championship outfits, so for all their disorganised personnel (with only one fit centre-back to their name) they are somewhat well prepared as they enter Saturday’s match up.
Argyle have scored at least one goal in their last 4 encounters against Walsall
The highest scoring game came in December of 1951 as Plymouth Argyle won 2-5 in the old Division Three (South)
These two clubs met at least once every year between 1961 and 1986
Walsall (4-3-3). It won’t be easy for this injury-depleted side to fill gaps in key areas, so a makeshift team will have to suffice: Roberts; Devlin, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy; Dobson, Chambers, Edwards, Ismail, Cook, Ginnelly.
Argyle (4-1-2-3). With the exception of Antoni Sarcevic out injured, Argyle have otherwise a near full-strength eleven to pick from. Expect Grant to replace the energetic midfielder: Macey; Riley, Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer; Fox; C Grant, Ness; Lameiras, Taylor, Carey.
The first game of the season is always a tough one to call due to no formbook to speak of and despite not having the best season last season, Walsall are usually a handy outfit when hosting Argyle. Argyle themselves are never fantastic on the first game of the season, but I can see them, just about, putting an end to the first day curse. It will be a cagey 1-1.