PREVIEW: Walsall vs Newport County

Both teams go into the New Years Day fixture after a prolonged break due to COVID cases leading to postponed games.

Walsall have not played since December 11, a 3-0 win at home to Colchester, due to their scheduled matches against Swindon (December 18), Northampton (Boxing Day) and Bradford (December 29) all being re-arranged for a later date. 

County meanwhile last played on the 18th against Rochdale and had a Boxing Day game against Forest Green postponed as well as a planned trip to Leyton Orient on the 29th.

Newport are currently 6th in the league while the Saddlers occupy 14th, with County winning the reverse fixture 2-1 at Rodney Parade thanks to James Clarke's 87th-minute winner.

Both managers, James Rowberry and Matt Taylor, have been tight-lipped on which players will miss the game due to COVID or injuries.

However Rowberry has confirmed that Alex Fisher and Lewis Collins who missed the trip to Rochdale with COVID are now available again while Priestley Farquharson is "close" to a return to full fitness following a lengthy injury and Scot Bennett is also fit again after being injured for the Rochdale game.

Walsall are 13th in the League Two home table with four wins from 11 games while County sit 6th in the away table with four wins from 12 games on the road.

Newport still brag the top scorer in the league thanks to Dom Telford's 14 goals in as many games while Walsall's leading marksman is George Miller with seven.