|Rochdale 1 v 1 Northampton Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 24th November 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Match Preview: Rochdale vs Northampton
Monday, 23rd Nov 2020 14:04
Dale will look to be bring an end to a four game losing streak on Tuesday night as they welcome Northampton Town to Spotland.
Date: Tuesday 24th November 2020
Dale slipped to within one goal of the League One relegation zone on Saturday after a last-gasp strike from Ethan Chislett condemned them to a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
After a relatively lengthy spell without a game following the postponement of last Saturday's fixture against Charlton Athletic due to international call-ups, a leggy display in which the side tired quickly in the final stages will have come as a worry to supporters and management alike.
Some poor displays from the likes of Aaron Morley and Jimmy Keohane certainly didn't help Dale's cause but as with the defeat to Stockport County in the FA Cup, it was a lack of creativity in the final third that really seemed to let the side down this weekend.
The encouraging news on that front is that Kwadwo Baah and Stephen Humphrys did at least return to action in the game, albeit to little effect. Humphrys' introduction did little to help Dale worry the Dons defence whilst Baah was not introduced until after the board had gone up to indicate the amount of injury time to be added on.
Given that most of our positive results this season have come in games where we have ceded possession and looked to be effective on the counter-attack and with balls into the box, particularly from Alex Newby, such a sterile display was difficult to watch with a lot of possession for possession's sake seemingly preventing us from creating many clear-cut chances.
Instead, Dale occupy a spot just one above the relegation zone now, with their -8 goal difference enough to keep them narrowly above a Bristol Rovers side who drew 1-1 at Spotland just last month.
Gavin Bazunu reportedly suffered a broken finger in training for Republic of Ireland U21s, whilst Ryan McLaughlin missed out on Saturday's squad having been away with Northern Ireland the previous week. Paul McShane also missed out on the weekend squad once again with injury.
As per TVOS' excellent Stats Magic feature, Dale have a fine record against the Cobblers in recent years, going eight matches unbeaten in all competitions in meetings between the sides and having not lost at home to them since 2000.
After the disappointment of that defeat to Wimbledon compounding two home cup exits, this Tuesday night fixture could be seen as a relatively early must-win for BBM and his side as we head into the busy month of December and the festive fixture period.
Having lost five of their last seven games before the season was locked down, the Cobblers snuck into the play-offs with 1.57 PPG compared to Port Vale's 1.54 and after losing the first leg of their semi-final with Cheltenham Town at Sixfields Stadium, another season in fourth tier seemingly beckoned.
However, after a 0-3 win at Whaddon Road finalised a remarkable comeback in the semi-final, momentum was clearly with Keith Curle's men as they thumped Exeter City 4-0 at Wembley Stadium to secure their spot in League One, with West Brom loanee Callum Morton the star of the show in both of those games.
Morton is no longer at Sixfields having opted to head to Lincoln City on loan instead this term and he is one of a handful of key players from the last campaign to have departed Sixfields over the summer.
Player of the Year Charlie Goode left for Brentford for a club-record fee whilst his usual centre-back partner Jordan Turnbull joined Salford, with first-choice keeper David Cornell departing for Ipswich and forward Vadaine Oliver rejecting a contract to join Gillingham.
As such, the arrivals of experienced, lower-league stalwarts such as Ricky Holmes, Cian Bolger and Alan Sheehan will have been key for Keith Curle during the transfer window and as things stand his side are keeping their heads above water towards the bottom of the League One table.
A defeat on Saturday would've seen the Cobblers slip into the relegation zone but instead, they romped to a 1-3 away win over bottom club Burton Albion, thanks in no small part to a brace from striker Harry Smith.
Given that their previous away fixture before that victory in Staffordshire yielded another three points from Wigan Athletic, it appears that Town seem to be saving their best performances for the road at the moment and since Dale have won only one of their ten competitive league fixtures so far this term, that could spell trouble for Tuesday night.
One man who will need no introduction to Dale fans is Northampton winger Nicky Adams. The Bolton-born winger made 92 appearances in all competitions over three different spells at Spotland and has been a key member of the Cobblers' side since joining the club in the summer of 2019.
18 Nov 2014 - Rochdale 2-1 Northampton Town - FA Cup
Photo: Action Images
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