Rochdale have eyes on top six as they entertain Walsall

By Andrew Smith

Rochdale host Walsall at Spotland Stadium with The Dale looking to enter the top six of League One.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill will be without Joe Bunney, who received his fifth yellow card of the season and subsequently a suspension. Keith Keane is also a doubt for the game after taking a knock in the 4-0 win against Swindon Town.

Calvin Andrew is still suspended after admitting a charge of violent conduct, the striker’s 12 game ban has been reduced to a nine game ban following a hearing in London. Rochdale will still be without Brian Barry-Murphy, Jamie Allen and Peter Vincenti who are all still nursing injuries.

Walsall boss Jon Whitney could call upon the same 11, despite losing 2-1 at home to Gillingham at the weekend. James O’Connor is available for selection again after overcoming a groin injury, and Keiron Morris will be assessed after suffering an ankle problem.

Speaking to the Saddlers website, Whitney said: “We were so dominant (against Gillingham), but we have to learn to take our chances when we are on top. We will bounce back, we are looking to get back to winning ways at Rochdale.”

Rochdale’s home form is largely responsible for their healthy league position, with the club having won six of their nine home fixtures. Walsall have had mixed fortunes on the road this season, the Saddlers have only lost two games away from home and drawn five, but have only tasted one victory away from the Bescot Stadium.

Erhun Otzumer is Walsall’s main threat and is already the Saddler’s top goal scorer with eight goals.

Rochdale are hoping to pack out the Spotland Stadium this evening, with season ticket holder being asked to “bring a friend2 for a fiver.

Walsall have defeated Rochdale at Spotland in their last two meetings at the home of the Dale, so the home team will want to avenge the recent defeats.

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