|Peterborough United 4 v 1 Rochdale|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 12th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Peterborough United vs Rochdale
Friday, 11th Dec 2020 00:28 by AtThePeake
Dale will be hoping to upset the odds on the road once again this weekend as they head to London Road to take on Peterborough United.
Date: Saturday 12th December 2020
Dale are all set to enter the always hectic Christmas period on Saturday with an away trip to Cambridgeshire to take on a much-fancied Peterborough United outfit.
The season has been a strange one for Dale. Although the majority of performances have been frustrating at best and genuinely poor at worst, Brian Barry-Murphy's men continue to pick up the occasional positive results and as a result, sit in 18th place as things stand.
Given that almost all bookmakers were only offering odds-on for the team to be relegated this season, 18th place might not seem too bad a position to be in at this stage, but it's the style of play that has left supporters frustrated after these negative results.
Although it seems that Brian Barry-Murphy's team are less focused on possession than they were last season, there remains a struggle to create chances in many games and Saturday's home defeat to Lincoln was perhaps another example of Dale's lack of creativity.
Poor performances from both Alex Newby and Stephen Dooley didn't help, but more importantly it seemed was the lack of Jake Beesley as a foil for Stephen Humphrys, who was anonymous for large sections as the Imps scored either side of half-time to take the three points.
The former Salford striker had broken the deadlock at Home Park in a game where Dale romped to a remarkable 0-4 victory and given that three of their four wins so far this season have come on the road, they may actually be looking forward to this trip to London Road more than you might expect.
BBM's starting eleven could remain the same as that defeat to Lincoln, although both Jimmy Ryan and Tolaji Bola will hope to stake a claim to a starting spot and as mentioned earlier, Jake Beesley could be in line to return to the squad.
After a 6-0 defeat in this fixture last season, everything seems to be stacked against Dale as they make the trip south on Saturday, but that might just suit this side down to the ground.
This time around, they're more determined than ever to win promotion and as expected, they occupy a play-off spot at this early stage - which is no surprise given the ambition of the Cambridgeshire club.
Having spent the majority of their recent history rebounding between the second, third and fourth tiers, perhaps a little stability wouldn't go amiss at London Road, but sights are set on another Championship tilt this term.
And that much was obvious in the club's summer transfer dealings. Dale supporters may have held out hope of a return to the club for Ethan Hamilton, only to see him move to Posh instead, whilst Jonson Clarke-Harris arrived from Bristol Rovers to replace the departed league top goalscorer, Ivan Toney.
The Posh enjoyed a fine start to the campaign, but things did appear to be slowing up last month. An EFL Trophy defeat to rivals Cambridge kickstarted a run of five defeats in six games in all competitions, the lowest point being a home loss to National League North outfit Chorley in the FA Cup.
More worrying for boss Darren Ferguson, now in his third spell as manager of the club, will surely be the two back-to-back league defeats that have occurred since however - AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth being the profiteers.
The midweek victory over West Ham United's young charges in the EFL Trophy did put an end to another short losing streak, but the reality is that League One points are required to get the promotion charge back on track for Posh here.
A return to London Road for this fixture will be a positive for the hosts, as will the return of supporters to the 15,000 capacity stadium. With the club being situated in a Tier 2 zone, fans can now attend this fixture, meaning Dale will be playing in front of a crowd for the first time since the victory over Rotherham United all the way back in March.
25 Nov 2017 - Rochdale 0-2 Peterborough United - League One
Photo: Action Images
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