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Match Previews

The big preview: Rochdale

21 March 2014

Wanderers return to Adams Park on Saturday when top-of-the-table Rochdale visit South Bucks (k.o 3pm).

Gareth Ainsworth’s men picked up what could prove to be a valuable point on Tuesday when they came from behind to draw at Cheltenham, and Chairboys will be looking for their third home win from four.

Keith Hill’s Rochdale climbed to the summit of League 2 on Tuesday when they won 3-0 at struggling Northampton Town.

Dale have lost just once in their last nine games, but that defeat did come at bottom-of-the-table Torquay United.

Gareth Ainsworth – talking to Chairboys Player

“I think Rochdale are up there as one of the best teams we’ve played so far and look where they are in the league.

“Keith Hill’s a good manager and he’s an ex-team-mate of mine back in 88/89 at Blackburn Rovers.

“He was a centre-half and I didn’t really see either of us go into management in those days when we were only 18/19 years old.

“He’s turned into a fantastic manager and had a decent shot at the Championship as well, although I think he deserved more time up there.

“He’s tactically very astute and has a footballing brain on him. We have to be ready to match that, ready to handle that, and ready to beat that.” 

Keith Hill – talking to Rochdale’s official website

"I know Gareth really well. He’s bringing young players through and I think he has gone into the loan market to add a little bit of experience.

“If you look at their form book over the last six games then they’re in the top six/seven, so they’ve turned their season around.

“He’s passionate and he expects the players to play with similar sort of values to the way I expect my players to play.

“We don’t play the league table, we play the opposition, and we’ll give them an enormous amount of respect. It’s going to be a very difficult game.”

Team news

Matt Bloomfield looks set to win his fitness battle after coming off with a knee injury against Cheltenham, but strike duo Steven Craig and Matt McClure are both doubts after picking up hamstring problems in the same game.

Skipper Stuart Lewis could return after illness, while fellow midfielders Sam Togwell and Matt Spring are also in contention.

Rochdale look set to be without top scorer Scott Hogan again, while midfielder Matt Lund misses out after being sent-off against Northampton.


Rochdale 6/4
Draw 9/4 
Wanderers 9/5

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