Match Preview : Rochdale v Wycombe Wanderers
This Saturday brings another tough away fixture for the Chairboys against Rochdale at Spotland.
Both clubs reached the play-offs last season and both had their hopes of promotion dashed by Stockport County, Wycombe losing in the semi-final and Rochdale going down to the Hatters in the final at Wembley.
Honours were even after last season's league games between the two sides, with Rochdale winning 1-0 at Adams Park and Wycombe returning the compliment with a 1-0 win at Spotland.
This season so far sees Wycombe with 10 points out of a possible 12, including a fine 100% away record following wins on the road at Chester and Chesterfield.
Rochdale have 5 points out of 12, Having won at home to Barnet, drawn twice and been beaten at Bradford.
In last week's match away to Chesterfield, Wycombe scored the only goal of the game in the 4th minute, which shaped the game and led them to protect what they had for most of the match with a solid defensive display, whilst still looking dangerous on the counter attack. Should Wanderers fail to get off the mark early in this week's encounter, it will be interesting to see how prepared they are to commit bodies forward in search of a third consecutive away win.
Rochdale may have had an indifferent start to the season, but Wycombe fans will be only too aware that this game is a difficult assignment. Many fans felt that The Dale were the best side to visit Adams Park last season and although David Perkins, who was their best player that day, has since moved on to Colchester, memories of a well organised team who attacked as a unit still linger.
Dale manager Keith Hill took a few days off earlier this week to recharge his batteries following frank exchanges with some fans at last week's home draw against Bury, but he we will be firmly back in charge for tomorrow's match.
Rochdale have no fresh injury problems and with the exception of Nathan D'Laryea and Raphaele Evans, they have a full squad from which to choose.
Wycombe were hoping summer purchase Lewis Hunt, who has yet to make his debut, would have recovered from his injury in time to make the squad for the first time. However, manager Peter Taylor has today told the club's website that Hunt will miss the game, as will other injury problem Matty Phillips. On the subject of Hunt, Taylor revealed that he may be out for longer than first thought. 'I think he's going to be out for about a month, Taylor said, "He's going to have something done that will cure the problem but that means it's more likely to be a month.'
Lewwis Spence who missed last week's game at Chesterfield and Nathan Ashton, who was injured in the warm up, could both make Saturday's squad.
Newly signed striker Matt Harrold is likely to at least win a place on the bench.
Another tough one to call, so I'll sit on the fence. 1-1 Draw