When the League One promotion contenders were discussed before a ball had been kicked this season, Walsall’s name wasn’t high on any agenda.
It still probably isn’t now, but following back-to-back league victories and a win at fellow third tier dwellers Port Vale in the first round of the League Cup, the Saddlers could well start shouting about potential success.
Dean Smith’s side are one of four in their division to have won both league matches so far, joining Leyton Orient, Peterborough and Colchester in holding 100 per cent records.
These are very early days of course, but Walsall’s odds of 25/1 to win League One will only shorten should they continue in this impressive vein of form, and their forthcoming fixtures suggest that they can do just that.
Smith’s men welcome Notts County to the Bescot Stadium on Saturday; the same Notts County who have lost both of their league fixtures so far and will have one eye on a forthcoming, and money-spinning League Cup trip to face Liverpool at Anfield.
Walsall go to Stoke in the same competition, but before that they look strong favourites to see off the Magpies at 23/20.
Looking further ahead, Smith’s side – who finished ninth in League One last season – face matches against Brentford and Preston before the end of August.
The Saddlers are unbeaten in four against the Bees, whilst they beat North End 3-1 both at home and away last season – part of a run of six matches against them without defeat.
All of which suggests that they could still be sitting pretty at the top end of the table come the end of August, a time when odds of 9/1 for promotion and 4/1 for a top six finish could well be a thing of the past.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication
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