Rochdale v Rovers – Match Preview

Ahead of tomorrow’s game at the Crown Oil Arena, @lukerovers85 previews the League 1 clash.

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Rovers make the short trip to the Crown Oil Arena tomorrow, to play Keith Hill’s Rochdale.

Sky Bet League 1 football returns after the international break as Blackburn Rovers travel to the Crown Oil Arena (Originally known as Spotland Stadium before sponsorship) to take on Rochdale, managed by former Rover Keith Hill.

Team news

Rovers head into the game without defender Darragh Lenihan, after the Irishman suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal ruling him out for several months. Captain Charlie Mulgrew could play some part in the game, despite coming off injured for Scotland on Monday night, whilst Derrick Williams could also return after an early injury in the Checkatrade.

Ryan Nyambe will not feature in the game as he picked up an ankle injury in the 1-0 win over Stoke City U21s last week, in which the young Namibian had to come off at half-time. Scott Wharton will also be out of the game, with his recurring ankle injury which has stopped him playing this season.

Rovers could hand debuts to MK Dons loanee Paul Downing & Sam Hart who joined on a 2 year deal from Liverpool, both having signed on transfer deadline day. The other deadline day signing from West Bromwich Albion Rekeem Harper (a season long-loan) could also make his debut for the club this weekend.

Deadline day deals
Rekeem Harper, Sam Hart & Paul Downing could all make their debuts for Rovers tomorrow at the Crown Oil Arena.

Rochdale go into the game without two key players, with Jamie Allen departing for Championship side Burton Albion & striker Ian Henderson who is suspended.

However, they managed to boost their ranks with the loan signings of Donervan Daniels (Wigan Athletic) & Jordan Williams (Liverpool) as they chase their 1st league win of the season.

The league season so far

Rovers began the season poorly to say the least, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at Southend United, before being embarrassed at home by Doncaster in a 3-1 loss. However, Rovers’ league campaign picked up, with a great 1-0 victory away to Bradford, who hadn’t lost at Valley Parade since March 2016 in the league.

Rovers then signed off before the international break with a resounding 4-1 victory over MK Dons. A brace from Charlie Mulgrew, sandwiched in between goals from Derrick Williams and Dominic Samuel gave Rovers the 3 points, but they failed to keep a clean sheet after Ed Upson’s strike.

Mulgrew 2

Rochdale are without a win from their opening 5 league games, picking up 3 draws and 2 lossses. They lost 2-0 at Portsmouth on the opening day, before drawing 1-1 at home to Scunthorpe – who Rovers face away on Tuesday.

The Dale then lost 3-2 at Shrewsbury Town in an exciting encounter, before drawing 0-0 at home to their local rivals Bury. Rochdale then drew 0-0 again last weekend, away at Southend.

Rovers go into the game with the better form out of the two sides, but as we’ve learnt so many times, form goes out of the window in games like these.

Previous games

Last league meeting at Spotland: 1973/74 season, with the final score ending Rochdale 1-2 Rovers.

One to remember: 2000/01 – David Dunn scores a spot kick treble as Rovers hit Dale for six in the League Cup.

Rovers 6-1 Rochdale. A hat-trick of penalties from Dunn (45′,55′,65′), a brace from Damien Duff (27′,90′) and a rare goal from Diawara saw Rovers score 6, with the only Rochdale reply coming from Platt (35′).

Prediction

One objective Rovers will need to do early on is quieten down the home crowd, who’ll really be up for the game.

If Mowbray’s men do that & remain solid in the first 20-25 minutes or so, then Rovers’ midfield quality should come through and secure victory for the Blues.

However, Rovers need to be avoid complacency, and make sure the job is done – hopefully resulting in 3 points.

Prediction: Rochdale 0-2 Rovers

Scorers: Samuel and Smallwood

Come on you Blues!


Share your thoughts about how Rovers will fare at Rochdale or any comments that you may have with us, by either replying to this post or tweeting us at @rovers_chat.

Hopefully, come 5pm, we’ll head home with 3 points & smiles on our faces.