Gills’ poor away record points to a rare ‘Dale win at Spotland.
The postponement of last weekend’s match at MK Dons probably came as a bit of a relief to Rochdale’s management and players after back-to-back defeats in league and cup in which they failed to find the target.
Keith Hill must have thought that ‘Dale’s early-season problems in front of the net were behind them after a flurry of goals last month. But his team never looked like fighting back against Barnsley two weeks ago after conceding early on.
They also drew a blank at home to Walsall in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and made an early exit from that competition – it had been only three weeks since they’d beaten the Saddlers 4-0 in the league.
Hill had fielded a virtually full-strength side in the JPT so that couldn’t be used as an excuse and maybe his small squad was simply in need of the rest. That has, after all, been a legitimate excuse for Raheem Sterling in the last few days!
‘Dale are still in the top half of the table but it’s that home form which is letting them down. They’ve now lost three times in the league at Spotland and been beaten in the Capital One Cup and JPT by teams from League One.
They’ve only managed six goals in front of their own fans and four of them came in the same game so confidence is suffering, though the likes of Matty Done and Ian Henderson have had no problem getting on the score-sheet in away games – they are the division’s top scorers on the opposition’s turf.
But there could be a bit of respite in view as this week’s opponents, Gillingham, are very poor travellers. Peter Taylor’s Gills, hovering just above the relegation zone, have managed just one point from a possible 18 on the road so far.
They lost 3-0 at home to struggling Scunthorpe last Saturday and will be without captain Doug Loft at Spotland after he saw red against the Iron.
Despite their relative problems at home, this looks a good opportunity for Rochdale to get back on track at 3/4. They are 13/10 to keep a clean sheet – under 2.5 total goals and a home win is 3/1.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm on Saturday, October 18th at Spotland.