|Burnley 4 v 1 Rochdale|
Tuesday, 21st September 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Match Preview: Burnley vs Dale
Tuesday, 21st Sep 2021 10:08 by AtThePeake
In a fixture many fans have been waiting an age for, Dale make the short trip to Turf Moor this evening to take on local Premier League outfit Burnley.
Date: Tuesday 21st September
Rochdale seem to be ticking off the Premier League teams from the list of dream cup draws in recent seasons, with local rivals Burnley next up following the clashes with Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur in recent years.
In the past, Dale had been known for having next to no luck when it came to FA Cup and EFL Cup draws, but that lack of luck can surely be bemoaned no longer as we continue to be handed plum draws and although Burnley may not be seen as one of the Premier League's biggest clubs, they are a club that many supporters will have wanted to see us drawn in against in recent years.
Growing up and starting to watch Dale in the late 90s and early 00s, there was still a lingering sense of a genuine dislike for Burnley among the older sections of the fanbase, a hangover from the spell that the Clarets spent in the fourth tier around a decade previously.
Remarkably, the 20 previous meetings between the two clubs all came within an eight year period from 1985 to 1993 and during that time there were some memorable matches played, the most famous from a Dale point of view being a famous 0-1 win at Turf Moor in 1990 in which the visitors had suffered two red cards but managed to cling on for a win that's still occasionally talked about to this day.
But for a generation of Dale fans, this will be a first ever opportunity to watch these two neighbours butt heads and with a capacity away crowd backing Robbie Stockdale's charges at Turf Moor it should be a great atmosphere and another memorable night.
Dale's record in the cup has been pretty impressive in recent years. All three of those aforementioned Premier League ties ended level after 90 minutes, although of course both Spurs and Newcastle progressed in FA Cup replays while Manchester United defeated Dale on the night via a penalty shoot-out.
And there's no reason for the team to really fear this trip to Turf Moor given not only that recent cup record, but also the team's form in all competitions at this early stage of the season.
Although an impressive late stop from Joel Coleman was required to hand Dale a point from their trip to Mansfield over the weekend, the 1-1 draw at Field Mill extended the team's unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions.
Starting with a 1-3 win at Northampton, that run has since taken in games against Shrewsbury, Colchester, Liverpool U21s, Port Vale and Tranmere prior to Saturday's away draw with the Stags.
And during that run, manager Robbie Stockdale has seen plenty of players battling to either keep their place or force their way into his starting eleven, leading to a number of selection headaches - not least in attack.
Danny Cashman, after his match-winning cameo against Tranmere, was handed a start on Saturday and again found the net, which means he could keep his place tonight over Abraham Odoh who dropped to the bench. The Coventry loanee should start in the front three with Alex Newby and Jake Beesley.
Corey O'Keeffe is likely to return at right wing-back, which should see Jimmy Keohane switch back to the left. In defence, Jeriel Dorsett was withdrawn at half-time against Mansfield and with Sam Graham still struggling for fitness, it seems Jim McNulty is likely to be the third centre-back alongside Eoghan O'Connell and Max Taylor if the Reading loanee has not recovered.
While not the most important game Dale will play this season in terms of shaping the campaign, you just know that Robbie Stockdale and his team will come into this game with a real belief that they can pull off a shock. Somehow manage that, and it may just be the most memorable.
With limited financial input to work with, manager Sean Dyche has created a rather unique team at Burnley, made up mostly of homegrown players willing to fit into his more traditional system and make things difficult for opponents, both at Turf Moor and away from home.
That unique style has played more than a part in Burnley remaining in the Premier League for what is now a sixth consecutive season and indeed they even managed to qualify for the Europa League after an incredible 7th placed finish back in the 2016/2017 campaign.
Bringing things into the current season, the Clarets have made a pretty poor start to the season, although they have placed their faith in long-serving manager Dyche by extending his contract - a decision that has gone down particularly well with the Turf Moor faithful.
Dyche, who is so revered in the town that he has a pub named after him, has not yet managed to get his team firing in the Premier League this term and they've managed to pick up just one point from an available 15 thus far.
After a home loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening weekend, the Clarets have since lost further league games against Liverpool, Everton and most recently Arsenal, although they did pick up that point in a 1-1 home draw with Leeds United a couple of weeks ago.
In this competition, Dyche rotated his team somewhat for the trip to Newcastle United in the last round, a trip which saw the Clarets progress via a penalty shoot-out despite not really troubling the Magpies in normal time. That win was a rare one in a competition that Burnley haven't really been known for competing well in over recent years.
Port Vale, Accrington Stanley, Burton Albion and Sunderland are four lower league teams that have knocked the Clarets out of the EFL Cup since they last won promotion to the Premier League and although they did progress through two rounds last season, they were thumped 0-3 by Manchester City in this round at this stage.
With Premier League survival always the main target, Burnley haven't taken the cups too seriously at all in recent years, but even if Dyche does rotate his team here there is still a raft of experienced and quality players waiting in the wings hoping to be given an opportunity to impress and with form so shaky in the league, they may be able to play themselves into contention here.
Players that haven't been afforded much of a chance in the league this term include the likes of Aaron Lennon, Jack Cork and former Dale loanees Dale Stephens and Kevin Long, while summer arrival and Ivory Coast international Maxwell Cornet could be in line for his first start after coming off the bench versus Arsenal at the weekend.
27 Oct 1990 - Burnley v Rochdale - L - 1-0 - League Division Four
Photo: Action Images
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