Date: 7th December 2017 at 8:33am
Written by:

A cup, a trophy and a league, sounds like an opening line for a joke somewhere there, but in fact they have given us 3 home games in 8 days. Rochdale, our next opponents are a well weird team, 2 years ago they finished 8th in the division, last season they played us on the last day of the season at home, and if they had won and results went for them, they would have finished in the play offs so you would expect something similar this season, wouldn’t you? Well with only 1 win from their opening 8 games of 2017/18 the Dale find themselves in 19th in the table level on points with 21st placed Gillingham, only kept out of the relegation spot by goal difference and are only 3 points above bottom placed Plymouth. So not really cracking is it?

The Dale have lost players such as Conrad Logan, Peter Vincenti, and the following 3 players to the Championship in Jamie Allen, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Matthew Lund with the latter 2 scoring 20 goals between them last season which is a lot of goals to lose. They have brought in Matt Done from Sheffield United who featured in most games as the Blades won the division last season but kept leading scorer Ian Henderson who has already scored 8 in 2017/18.

Rochdale have stuck with manager Keith Hill now for what will be 5 years come next month who to be fair has done a rather decent job over the last few years. Stability at the helm, but has losing key personnel on the field, is that the reason of their league position?

2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
A home win in the FA Cup has lifted spirits a bit at home with a comprehensive win over an improved Plymouth side, the midweek loss in the trophy is here nor there, then comes one of the bottoms teams in the 3rd division at Valley Parade you would surely expect City to cement their play off position as we head towards Christmas. If you take out the Football League Trophy results, City have won 5 of their last 7 games which is promotion form and the Dale have only managed 2 league wins in their last 10 makes confident reading for any Bantam, so there is no reason why the Bantams won’t be celebrating those 3 points come 5pm Saturday.

There’s always a reason.
24th placed Plymouth won at Valley Parade a few weeks ago, 23rd placed Bury beat City 3-1, the next 2 higher placed teams we scraped a 1-0 win against. We haven’t played AFC Wimbledon yet, and then you have the 2 immediate teams above Rochdale in Oldham and Doncaster both gaining a win over the Bantams in 1 competition or another this season, and not only have Oldham got a win against the Bantams in the trophy, they also drew at Valley Parade in the league. In a nutshell, we’ve been crap against the so called poor teams of the 3rd division. Why should Rochdale be any different? If they are on par with teams such as Bury or Plymouth or any of the teams around them, which the table indicates, they are more than capable of getting a result.

Head to head and form
91 games
45 Bradford City Wins
26 Rochdale Wins
20 Draws

Rochdale is a team I like playing, not because they are relatively nearby, not because I don’t mind the club and don’t wish any misfortune over or on their supporters. It is just because the Dale are a club we seem to do well against. Last season we earned 4 points off them with this fixture last season ending 4-0 to the good for the Bantams with goals from Billy Clarke, Timothee Dieng, James Hanson and Mark Marshall. Nice. The last time Rochdale won at Valley Parade was in January 2015, 1-2 with goals from Peter Vincenti and Calvin Andrew with City reduced to 10 men on 11 minutes. Jon Stead level matters half hour into the game, but it wasn’t enough.

City last 6 LWWLWL
City last 6 Home LWLLLW
Dale last 6 WDWLLD
Dale last 6 away WLLDDD

1 away in their last 6 games on the road in all competitions, not very impressive for the Dale one little bit. 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses is about as average as you can get in their last 6 games. City’s home form is terrible, 4 losses in our last 6 at Valley Parade, ok 2 of those were in the League Trophy so take that however you like, but a loss is a loss is a loss on home territory. Winning half of our recent games, the Bantams boast 3 wins and 3 losses recently. A very tough team to try and predict this season.

City last 6 results
Oldham Athletic (H) 0-1 loss
Plymouth Argyle (H) 3-1 win
Shrewsbury Town (A) 0-1 win
Scunthorpe United (H) 1-2 loss
Wigan Athletic (A) 1-2 win
Plymouth Argyle (H) 0-1 loss

Dale last 6 results
Slough Town (A) 0-4 win
Doncaster Rovers (H) 1-1 draw
Peterborough United (H) 2-0 win
Charlton Athletic (A) 2-1 loss
Oldham Athletic (A) 3-1 loss
Blackburn Rovers (H) 1-1 draw

Goals in numbers, last 6 games
City For 7, Against 6, Blanks 2, Clean sheets 1
City home For 6, Against 8, Blanks 3, Clean sheets 1
Dale For 10, Against 6, Blanks 0, Clean sheets 2
Dale away For 9, Against 8, Blanks 1, Clean sheets 2

Boz’s match verdict: Home Win

5 Fun Facts

1. Did you know City youngster Reece Staunton is 16 years old 7 hours after the Rochdale match meaning he can get a national insurance number. With the offices not open on a Sunday, could Staunton be a tax dodger for one day?

2. Reece Staunton will be able to join a trade union come Sunday, City better watch out if they are thinking of sacking him, or making him play with the youth team.

3. Reece Staunton will be able to buy a lottery ticket meaning he could be worth more than he is worth.

4. Reece Staunton will be able to change his name by deed poll if he so wishes from Sunday. He could change his name to Charlie Wyke and really confuse Stuart McCall when comes to team selection, and pay day.

5. Reece Staunton will be able to ride a moped, just don’t let McCall stand on the top of it with a can of lager.

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