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Rochdale 0 v 3 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 23rd November 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Dale v Portsmouth
Thursday, 21st Nov 2019 09:00 by Chaff

Dale are back in league action this weekend, desperately looking to end their dismal league form. Portsmouth are the visitors to Spotland.

Date: Saturday 23rd November
Kick-off: 3pm
Venue: Crown Oil Arena
Rochdale had another break from league action on Tuesday with an FA Cup replay at home to Wrexham. Rochdale won the game 1-0 and booked themselves into the second round against non-league Boston United at home.

Despite the win, the fan reaction would suggest fans are fed up at Spotland and the league form and style of football on show would be the biggest reasons why.

The midweek FA Cup win was preceded by a 2-1 away defeat against Coventry City despite going ahead in the game through Ian Henderson. That was our fourth consecutive defeat in the league having got nothing from Ipswich, Bristol Rovers or Oxford in recent weeks.

A run of defeats brings into question the style of play that we’re playing. A style of play that everybody seems to love when we’re beating sides like Southend and Tranmere earlier on in the season.

Injuries have taken their toll on the squad and with seemingly little, if anything, to spend in January, we’re going to have to rely heavily on younger players like we have done. Ryan McLaughlin came back for the away match against Wrexham but has been missing since. Ollie Rathbone came off injured in the defeat to Ipswich Town and hasn’t played since. Ollie has been a big miss to our side and his energy and direct style hasn’t been replicated in his absence. Paul McShane made it back for the Wrexham replay having missed a couple of games through injury and he scored the all-important goal in the game too, but he also limped off injured and must now be a doubt for the weekends game. Tyler Magloire and Jim McNulty being injured does little to help the centre back position either which probably means we’ll have to see MJ Williams at centre back again. Luke Matheson and Rhys Norrington-Davies should be back from international duty thankfully.

Given Portsmouth’s poor start to the season, this is a big game and a good opportunity to end our run of defeats and give some of our less patient fanbase something to cheer about!

Pompey are the visitors to Spotland this week and were one of the pre-season favourites for promotion but it couldn’t have gone much more wrong for the Fratton Park club, especially at the start of the season.

Kenny Jackett’s men find themselves in 13th in League One after an awful start to the season but are also on a four-match unbeaten league run coming into this game. That doesn’t include the FA Cup win away at Harrogate Town either although they did make hard work of that.

Their last league match saw them hammer Southend United 4-1 following draws against Oxford and Bristol Rovers.

The start of the season saw them win just one league game in their first seven games and they found themselves at the wrong end of the table. Their form since then has improved considerably but there are still Pompey fans who aren’t happy with what’s going on down at Fratton Park.

Gareth Evans is Pompey’s top scorer this season with 4 goals in 12 games from midfield while summer signings John Marquis, Marcus Harness and Ellis Harrison have all chipped in with goals. In fact, Harrison has 7 in 16 in all competitions. Ronan Curtis has also bagged 4 goals from midfield so far this season. Even just writing these names down and seeing the quality they have in their squad indicates they shouldn’t be as low down as they’ve found themselves so far this season.

Kenny Jackett is still in charge at Fratton Park and has been since the summer of 2017. It’s been a successful spell in charge at Portsmouth with a Wembley playoff win and an EFL Trophy win, also at Wembley, to boast about but this season has seen some fans become unhappy.

Another tough game on paper this but we need to start picking up points and quick.

_________ _______________________________________________________________
Wrexham (h) - WIN
Coventry City (a) – LOSS
Wrexham (a) – DRAW
Ipswich Town (h) – LOSS
Bristol Rovers (h) - LOSS

Harrogate Town (a) – WIN
Southend United (h) – WIN
Oxford United (h) – DRAW
Bristol Rovers (a) – DRAW
Lincoln City (h) - WIN

13 Apr 2019 – Portsmouth 4-1 Rochdale - League One
02 Dec 2018 - Rochdale 0-1 Portsmouth – League One
29 Sep 2018 - Rochdale 1-3 Portsmouth - League One
07 Apr 2018 – Rochdale 3-3 Portsmouth - League One
05 Aug 2017 - Portsmouth 2-0 Rochdale - League One

Photo: Action Images

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