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Match Preview: Rochdale vs Hull City
Thursday, 15th Oct 2020 13:56 by AtThePeake

Dale will look to bounce back from a disappointing display at Accrington Stanley as they play host to Hull City on Saturday afternoon.

Date: Saturday 17th October 2020
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Spotland Stadium
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THE DALE:
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Rochdale fans will have been happy enough to have taken four points from the first four fixtures of the season given the difficulty of the opposition, but defeat at Accrington Stanley last weekend was less than impressive.

After a drab first half, Jimmy Keohane had ghosted in at the back post to give the visitors the lead at the Crown Ground, but Accrington recovered with two goals in quick succession to turn the game on it's head and earn the three points.

The defeat leaves Dale in 18th place in the table after five games, a position that most fans would certainly take come the end of the season and given that we've already had to face the likes of Portsmouth and early leaders Ipswich Town, it could certainly look worse for Dale at this point.

A couple of players could feature again in this game following injury issues, with Ryan McLaughlin and Jimmy Ryan returning to the match-day squad last weekend, although neither player started in Accrington with Brian Barry-Murphy choosing to keep the same eleven from the victory over Fleetwood Town the week previously.

Judging from BBM's comments prior to that game, Kwadwo Baah could be nearing full fitness ahead of the Hull City fixture on Saturday, although it's unlikely that we will see Stephen Humphrys make his second appearance since re-joining the club for at least another week yet.

One man who will hope to make a debut in this fixture is left-back Tolaji Bola after arriving on a season-long loan from Arsenal last Thursday, whilst Gavin Bazunu will expect to return to the starting line-up having missed last week's game due to being on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U21s.

Paul McShane will be looking forward to this game having played over 130 times for Hull City in a stint that spanned seven different seasons including four in the Premier League. Dale midfielder Ollie Rathbone meanwhile, was subject to transfer interest from Saturday's opponents over the summer.
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THE OPPOSITION:
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Hull City are the latest former Premier League club to have fallen on hard times and into the third tier of English football.

Although the likes of Sunderland, Ipswich and Portsmouth had never been seen at Spotland before in league action by fans of a similar age to myself however, Hull's ascent up to the top tier came after a few years in the lower leagues themselves with trips to Boothferry Park always a fearsome encounter for away supporters and players alike.

Now at the much more modern KCOM, the Tigers have enjoyed the similar luxuries of Premier League life, but with unpopular owner Assem Allam perhaps losing some interest following the backlash from supporters towards his long-term plans for the club, the top tier now seems a long way away.

Having sold star men Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen back in the January transfer window, Hull's form in the second half of the 2019/2020 season was nothing short of abysmal and they fell to defeat after defeat, although remarkably Grant McCann has somehow kept his job as manager amidst that slide.

The fall in divisions appeared to be treating Hull well at first, with four wins from four games including away victories at Gillingham and Northampton Town no doubt had supporters relishing the chance to get back to watching their team live at a level more suited to the squad they have.

However, they reverted to the Hull of old last weekend, slipping to 4-1 mauling at the hands of Fleetwood Town (who had lost at Spotland to Dale just one week earlier) in front of the Sky TV cameras on Friday night.

The likes of Malik Wilks, Lewie Coyle and Richard Smallwood are shrewd summer signings with experience and quality in the lower leagues and perhaps an indication that Allem has ambitions of returning the club back to the second tier at the first time of asking.

However, given the way that the season seemed to slip from McCann's control last season, he will desperate to bounce back from that defeat to the Cod Army last weekend at the first possible opportunity here.
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FORM BOOK - LAST 5 GAMES:
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Rochdale:
Accrington Stanley (a) - LOSS
Fleetwood Town (h) - WIN
Man Utd U21 (h) - DRAW (loss on pens)
Ipswich Town (a) - LOSS
Portsmouth (h) - DRAW

Hull City
Fleetwood Town (h) - LOSS
Plymouth Argyle (h) - WIN
Northampton Town (a) - WIN
West Ham United (a) - LOSS
Crewe Alexandra (h) - WIN
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HEAD TO HEAD:
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ROCHDALE - 16
DRAWS – 11
HULL - 22

12 Oct 2002 - Hull City 3-0 Rochdale - League Division 3
29 Apr 2003 - Rochdale 2-1 Hull City - League Division 3
20 Sep 2003 - Rochdale 0-2 Hull City - League Division 3
27 Mar 2004 - Hull City 1-0 Rochdale - League Division 3
25 Aug 2015 - Hull City 1-0 Rochdale - League Cup

Photo: Action Images



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