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Swindon Town 3 v 1 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 12th September 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Swindon Town v Rochdale
Thursday, 10th Sep 2020 09:00 by Chaff

Dale begin their League One campaign with a tricky start away at newly promoted Swindon Town.

Date: Saturday 12th September 2020
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: The County Ground
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THE DALE:
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Well, hands up who thought that we’d have two wins in two games coming into this match? Nope, me neither! While we all know that we have one primary aim this season in trying to avoid relegation, our start in the cup games has been impressive. A 1-0 win over Championship side Huddersfield Town in the Carabao Cup and a late 2-1 win over Morecambe in the EFL Trophy this past week gave Rochdale a boost coming into this season’s League One campaign if nothing else.

It was reassuring to me to hear BBM’s interview last week and just confirm that we’re after players. We all know how light we are up front and that we have no recognised left back but it was still good to hear the manager say that we were still looking to bring in 5/6 players and that we were hoping to bring in forward players because in both games we’ve seen so far and the friendlies, it’s just not feasible to rely on the likes of Tavares and Done to lead the line. With that came news that Rochdale had had a bid, and now it seems a second bid, rejected for Southend striker and former Dale loan striker Stephen Humphrys. A signing that would give us hope of continuing our stay in the third tier of English football. But that’s far from being done and we just must hope we can finalise the deal and don’t miss out. No doubt we’ll be using the loan market as well as trying to bring the Royton lad back to Spotland and speaking of the loan market, we did see centre back Yeboah Amankwah come in on loan from Manchester City this week and he played in the game against Morecambe before coming off injured. Hopefully he won’t be out for too long as he will be providing welcome cover for the likes of O’Connell and McShane.

Speaking of our new captain, he reminded us again why he was last season’s Player of the Year with a colossal performance against Huddersfield, capped off with his first goal for the club and what turned out to be the winner! Genuinely the best centre back I’ve seen at Dale for years and right to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Dawson and the other O’Connell, now doing bits in the Premier League.

Fabio Tavares and Alex Newby both got off the mark for the season as well, scoring late goals in the EFL Trophy match up at Morecambe and that goal will do the pair of them the world of good from a confidence point of view with very little professional football experience between them. In fact, the whole side really was a very young side with good run outs for the likes of 16-year-old Ethan Brierley, who really does look a prospect, Lewis Bradley and Joe Dunne among others.

We’re under no illusions that this is going to be a tough season and we’re favourites for relegation for a reason. Even the NotTheTop20 podcast had us finishing rock bottom in 24th this season and it’s hard to argue with their assessment and I’d go as far as to say that if BBM does manage to keep us up this season, without the likes of Henderson and Camps etc, then for me it would go down as a bigger achievement than winning promotion under Keith Hill.

Our battle to prove everyone wrong starts this Saturday!

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THE OPPOSITION:
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Swindon Town are one of the league’s newcomers having won promotion at the premature end of the 19/20 campaign in a finish that saw them finish second but level on points with the league winners Crewe Alexandra on a points per game basis.

They will come into the season full of confidence from last season but have lost both of their opening cup games so far this season having been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Charlton Athletic and been beaten in the EFL Trophy by West Brom under 21’s side I suspect that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things with Richie Wellens’ men tipped to have a decent first season back in League One.

One player they will dearly miss is striker Eoin Doyle who was quite simply unbelievable last season for them bagging 25 goals in just 28 league games. He left the club and came up north to sign a big contract at Bolton Wanderers along with the other 30 odd players they seem to have signed this summer. He will be a huge miss for Swindon as will Keshi Anderson who has signed for Blackpool this summer. Coming in the door at the County Ground though are the likes of Tyler Smith who ended last season on loan at Dale and who many thought might reappear at Spotland this season but to no avail. They’ve also made the impressive loan signing of Manchester United goalkeeper Matej Kovar and Bristol City winger Jonny Smith, who some may remember was on trial with us last summer before impressing at neighbours Oldham Athletic. Matt Smith is also on loan from Premier League Arsenal. The name Brett Pittman always strikes fear into Dale supporters as he has a ridiculous habit of scoring against us and when he was released by Portsmouth, I’d hoped we may have seen the last of him but nope, we get him first game as he signed for Swindon just last week. Jack Payne is another impressive summer signing from Lincoln City.

Swindon will be looking to keep their league momentum going and settling down quickly into League One
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FORM BOOK - LAST 5 GAMES:
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Swindon Town:
West Brom U21’s (h) – LOSS
Charlton Athletic (h) – LOSS
Forest Green Rovers (h) – LOSS
Scunthorpe United (h) – WIN
Grimsby Town (a) - DRAW

Rochdale:
Morecambe (a) – WIN
Huddersfield Town (a) - WIN
Rotherham United (h) - WIN
Portsmouth (a) - LOSS
Coventry City (h) - LOSS

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HEAD TO HEAD:
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ROCHDALE - 3
DRAWS – 7
SWINDON TOWN - 12

19 Nov 2016 - Rochdale 4-0 Swindon Town – League One
18 Oct 2016 - Swindon Town 3-0 Rochdale - League One
30 Apr 2016 - Rochdale 2-2 Swindon Town - League One
12 Dec 2015 - Swindon Town 2-1 Rochdale - League One
07 Nov 2015 - Rochdale 3-1 Swindon Town – FA Cup

Predict the game in our prediction league on the link below:

https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/rochdale/prediction-league/

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upthedale added 13:00 - Sep 10
Good read thanks, cautiously looking forward to it. I've enjoyed the matches so far.
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