Match Preview: Rochdale v Northampton Town

After a 0-0 draw against Walsall at Sixfields that saw the Cobblers frustrated, we’re back on the road this weekend as we head to relegation threatened, and bottom of the table, Rochdale.

The Opposition

It’s been a rough ride for Rochdale this season and their 102 year Football League history is hanging in the balance as we come to the final furlong of the campaign.

Having sacked Robbie Stockdale in August and only appointed Jim Bently right at the end of the summer transfer window, there was little time for the new man to bring in the players he’d want and it’s led to a season of struggle with Dale hanging on for dear life ahead of the Cobblers’ visit.

After Town won the reverse fixture 3-0 back in September, Bentley’s side won three of their next four games and things were looking up but, since then, they’ve recorded just two league wins and currently sit bottom of League Two and five points adrift of safety.

Body language, desire and tactics have been questioned endlessly in recent weeks and despite a core of experienced pros like Richard O’Donnell, Jimmy McNulty and Ian Henderson, there’s a sense that not everyone is singing from the hymn book that would see this age old Football League club survive once again.

Last Time Out

The Cobblers were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Walsall last weekend while Rochdale were beaten 2-1 at Salford.

One To Watch

Former Cobblers man Ian Henderson is in his second spell with Rochdale and, this season, became their all time record goal scorer when he netted in their 1-0 home win over Salford. He has the experience in front of goal and enough fight for the club that many of Dale’s hopes rest on his shoulders. 

 

Team News

Rochdale welcome back Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Sam Graham from suspension for the visit from the Cobblers. Loan signing Dan Ashead is still not ready to play as he recovers from injury back at parent club Cheltenham.

The Cobblers will definitely be without Ali Koiki, who was sent off during the Walsall draw and serves a one match ban, as well as goalkeeper Lee Burge and defender Akin Odimayo. Odimayo limped out of the Walsall game with a hamstring problem and Burge is still recovering from a calf injury. Aaron McGowan has missed the last two games through injury so Jon Brady could have a dilemma on his hands at full back. 

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

Neil Hair is in charge on Saturday at Spotland. Hair last took charge of the Cobblers in our 1-0 defeat to Doncaster earlier this season at Sixfields and has shown 65 yellow cards and 5 reds so far this season. Abbas Khan and Helen Edwards are running the lines and Oliver Bickle is fourth official.

Prediction

The Cobblers need to stand up and be counted here against a team fighting for their lives. We need a win and I think, with our slightly better away form, we can get it. 3-2 Cobblers.

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