The View From The Opposition: Walsall

PORT Vale handed Millwall their third straight defeat on Tuesday night, with Lee Gregory's consolation from the penalty spot the only positive note in a 3-1 defeat.

This weekend, Walsall play host to the Lions, as both sides look to kick-start their season. Saddlers' fans website Bescot Banter gives NewsAtDen the lowdown…

Name: Bescot Banter

Twitter: @BescotBanter

What made you support Walsall?: The club is a lifelong passion: the highs, the lows, from the mediocre mid-table campaigns to the play-off winning season, Walsall are that security blanket we're not quite sure we'll ever be ready to move on from…

After a mass exodus of players following the play-off defeat in May, the Saddlers have had a tough start to 2016-17 – is that expected, or should you be challenging for promotion?: A few early-season issues are to be expected following such a high turnover of players, especially given the total overhaul that has happened over the last few months, but the real concern surrounds the team's lack of cohesion.

The squad are still to really play as a unit for more than one game. An against-the-odds victory over the previously undefeated Bolton Wanderers has shown that the team is capable of more. However, a mid-week surrender to Scunthorpe United indicates that there is much more to be done if the team is to really achieve anything this season.

Likewise, Millwall also lost in the play-offs and are on their worst run in Neil Harris' tenure, winless in five and having lost the last three. Do you see the Lions challenging again, or struggling?: The Lions are in a similar position to the Saddlers. Last season's success has given supporters reason to be cheerful, but so far the clubs are struggling to come close to re-creating it.

The next few weeks will be crucial for both sides. If they continue to display such poor form, it could prove difficult to even stay in the third tier, let alone challenge for a place in the second come May 2017

Which Walsall players do you feel Millwall will need to watch out for? And which Lions do you think the Saddlers will need to be wary of?: Outside of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who continues to produce consistent man-of-the-match-worthy performances, summer signing Erhun Oztumer has been a shining light in the 2016-17 Saddlers side – his form will be crucial to our season as a whole. Keep him quiet and you're likely to have a fairly good afternoon.

Millwall's attackers could have a good afternoon, as Walsall's defence has been under a fair bit of pressure so far this season. If the Lions can get the ball inside the area, there could be a fair few shots on goal during the afternoon, as the Saddlers have struggled to maintain composure when under attack.

Finally, a score prediction?: With both sides struggling for form, the match is likely to be a close-fought affair. We'll go Walsall 2-1 Millwall, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it go the other way.

Mark Litchfield