|Shrewsbury Town 1 v 2 Rochdale|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 24th October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Shrewsbury vs Rochdale
Friday, 23rd Oct 2020 13:12 by AtThePeake
Dale will look to make it two wins from two on the road as they head to New Meadow this Saturday afternoon to take on Shrewsbury Town.
Date: Saturday 24th October 2020
At Spotland last Saturday, Grant McCann's side displayed their promotion credentials with a terrific display that the Dale defence simply couldn't handle, with Malik Wilks' brace helping the Tigers ease to the three points.
With Dale struggling to create chances and even captain Eoghan O'Connell struggling to cope defensively with the visitors' power and pace in attack, that loss saw Dale slip to second bottom in the table ahead of Tuesday night.
However, a much improved performance on the trip to the Pirelli Stadium saw Dale return to Greater Manchester with all three points over Burton Albion, thanks to a headed goal from former Brewers midfielder Matty Lund.
It remains to be seen whether O'Connell will return to fitness for this game, whilst Matt Done and Jay Lynch were also absent from the match-day squad for that trip to Staffordshire. Paul McShane is likely to be missing for a period of 2-3 weeks along with Stephen Humphrys and Kwadwo Baah.
Speaking ahead of this week's match, boss Brian Barry-Murphy was keen to stress the importance of victories like the one at Burton for team morale.
"When we get a victory like that, it makes everybody feel amazing and the atmosphere at the end of the game was incredible and testament to all of the hard work that the players have been doing." He told the official site.
No doubt he will be hoping for a similar feeling of achievement come the end of Saturday's fixture against Shrewsbury Town, the team that he beat in his first ever match in charge of the Dale back in the 2018/2019 campaign.
Having lost to a significantly weakened Reds outfit in the replay at Anfield, the Shrews perhaps saw their league campaign suffer as a result of this cup run and having won just two of their last 14 matches in League One, they ended the campaign in 15th in the PPG table.
That was a small improvement on the 18th placed finish of the season before, but a far cry from the heights of 3rd that the Shrews reached under Paul Hurst back in 2017/2018, a season they will perhaps feel they should've won promotion in only to suffer a lack of form in the final weeks before losing the play-off final to Rotherham United.
The new season has been difficult for Sam Ricketts' men thus far as they've picked up just one win from their first six games, although they have held both Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle to handy draws away from home before earning their first win of the season against AFC Wimbledon, also on the road last weekend.
It's actually at the New Meadow where Salop have struggled thus far, going down in unexpected defeats to both Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers as well as being held to a draw by Gillingham.
Even after earning that confidence-boosting first win over the Dons away from home last weekend, thanks to a last-gasp winner from Leon Clarke, the Shrews slunk back to a 0-1 home defeat at the hands of Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.
The Shrews have two former Dale loanees on their books and one of them, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, is likely to feature having played in five of the side's six league matches so far this term. Rekeil Pyke however will miss out having suffered a long-term injury in one of his first appearances for Shrewsbury after joining the club on a permanent deal during the summer transfer window.
30 Mar 2018 - Rochdale 3-1 Shrewsbury Town - League One
Photo: Action Images
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