By Harry Laughton
This weekend’s fixtures contain another difficult game for Keith Hill’s Rochdale. The League One strugglers are yet to win a league game on the road so far. Their only away win of the campaign came in the form of a 4-0 away drubbing of Bury in the EFL trophy. However, this result appears to be a flash in the pan from the team in greater Manchester.
But the Rochdale faithful may have something to cling onto if previous results are anything to go by. Fleetwood have failed to beat Rochdale in their last four meetings, with Rochdale taking two and the others finishing level. Rochdale historically hold the upper hand with four wins to Fleetwood’s three.
It is still very early in the season to hint at a struggle but Rochdale currently sit 18th in the table. Fleetwood on the other hand may hold the key in the form of talismanic front man Devante Cole. Cole has hit an impressive seven goals in the league so far, propping the Cod Army up in ninth.
Cole was subject to a summer move to title winners Sheffield United but ultimately fell through when coming to terms with a finalising price. The Blades may come back for a second bite of the cherry in January but that is yet to be seen and can only be a bonus for Uwe Rostler’s Fleetwood side.
Goal scoring has certainly been hard to come by for Rochdale, netting a mere 10 times, fewer than one goal a game. Fleetwood on the other hand have hit exactly double that number. Rochdale value their top scorer Steven Davis, yet even he failed to hit the net in their previous five games.
A betting man may tip his hat towards a Fleetwood victory, strengthened by the news influential midfielder Jimmy Ryan has been given the all clear after picking up a knock in Fleetwood’s 2-2 draw with Coventry.