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SkyBet League One
Saturday, 16th November 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Wrexham vs Dale
Thursday, 7th Nov 2019 15:57 by AtThePeake
Dale look to the FA Cup to provide a distraction from their faltering league form on Sunday as they head to North Wales to take on National League outfit Wrexham.
Date: Sunday 10th November
The cups have offered up some memorable moments to fans in the last few years and in a season that looks unlikely to provide too much drama in the league, supporters will be hoping for another FA Cup run to add some excitement to the campaign in the coming weeks and months.
After famous performances against the likes of Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup and of course Manchester United in the EFL Cup this season, we've garnered a reputation as being one to watch in these competitions in recent years
One thing is for certain, Dale will have to improve on their recent league showings if they're to avoid a potential banana skin here. After a trio of consecutive wins for the first time this season, BBM's charges have since slipped to three consecutive defeats against Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and most recently on Tuesday night, Ipswich Town.
The sorry display versus the Tractor Boys that yielded just one shot on target has left some supporters casting worried glances towards the relegation zone as Dale's cushion over the relegation zone sits at just six points, with every team from MK Dons in 21st place and upwards having at least one game in hand on us in 15th.
Although this run of fixtures has come against tougher, top-half opposition, it is also owing in no small part to a squad that's really struggling with injuries at the moment and as many concerned supporters noted the small size of the roster back in the summer, the amount of academy products on the bench against Ipswich on Tuesday once again brought that issue to the fore.
Both Ollie Rathbone and Rhys Norrington-Davies missed out on Tuesday's clash with Ipswich having picked up knocks towards the end of the Bristol Rovers match. Brian Barry-Murphy hinted that Robert Sanchez could be back on Tuesday but he missed out again, so could return on Saturday, although Ryan McLaughlin did return to the matchday squad with a spot on the bench in that game.
With Stephen Dooley, Jim McNulty and Tyler Magloire all still a few weeks away from returning to contention, BBM will be happy to have seen McLaughlin back in the match day squad and his attacking options were bolstered too by a return to the starting eleven for Rekeil Pyke against the Tractor Boys.
Aaron Wilbraham will sit out the final game of his three-match suspension for the red card he picked up at Oxford. The changes in suspension rules for domestic cup games only apply to yellow card suspensions, not reds.
Having come so close to ending their long wait to return to the Football League last season, Wrexham are struggling to find the same kind of form that saw them finish fourth in the National League last term.
In fact. as things stand the Red Dragons look far more likely to exit the fifth tier through the bottom of the league rather than the top as with 20 games on the board this term they sit in 21st place, inside the relegation zone with just four wins to their name so far.
The latest of those rare victories did come in their last fixture over the weekend though as a Luke Young strike handed them all three points against Bromley, but that was the side's first win in seven and came on the back of three consecutive defeats beforehand.
After that dreadful start to the season, it was no surprise to see Bryan Hughes sacked from his position in September and replaced by Dean Keates, who enjoyed a relatively successful spell in charge from 2016-2018 at the Racecourse Ground - but the former midfielder has been unable to really lift spirits and form so far since his return.
A few names such as Adam Barton, Luke Summerfield and Mark Carrington will be recognisable to Dale fans from their time at Football League clubs but one name in particular will stand out to supporters travelling from Lancashire on Sunday.
Leading the line for the Red Dragons so far this term has been Bobby Grant. The Liverpudlian forward scored 18 times in 44 appearances over two spells at Dale and was a divisive character both on and off-the-field, with a lovely left peg capable of some of the most impressive goals we've seen in some time. He's bagged eight times in 30 appearances so far for Wrexham.
WREXHAM - 58
27 Sep 2006 - Wrexham 1-2 Rochdale - League Two
Photo: Action Images
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