Rochdale – Fleetwood Town 20.03.2018

Since taking the reins at Highbury Stadium a few weeks ago John Sheridan has brought about improvement at Fleetwood, though the Trawlermen remain without a win since the middle of January. Sheridan’s first match saw Fleetwood unluckily take just a point against MK Dons, while they’ve followed up with draws against Plymouth and Charlton. The new boss, who tended to favour a defensive approach during his time at Oldham in League One, has managed to make Fleetwood harder to beat, though they do need to start scoring a few more goals. Having said that, there have been a few encouraging signs lately, so it may not be too long before the Trawlermen, who’re not short of attacking talent, re-find their feet in the final third.

Like Fleetwood, Rochdale also needed to turn things around a few weeks ago, and that is exactly what they’ve done. Since losing to Spurs at Wembley, the Dale have found a new lease of life in League One, as they’re now unbeaten in four. Two wins and two draws have lifted Rochdale away from the foot of the table, though they’re still very much entangled in the relegation web. However, Keith Hill’s men have games in hand. If they their current form continues, then by the end of the season, the Dale should be safe.

In many ways, these two teams are quite similar. Both have underachieved this season, both have plenty of players who wouldn’t look out of place playing for teams much higher up the table, while both are better (at both ends of the pitch) than their league positions suggest.

It’s fair to say that in recent weeks, both Rochdale and Fleetwood have sharpened up defensively. The Dale have kept three clean sheets in their last four and have conceded just two goals during that time, while Sheridan’s impact at Fleetwood has been clear, as they’ve conceded just two in their last three. Having said that, both have more than enough about them to create chances going forward, even against useful opposition. At the prices, ‘Both Teams to Score’ might just be worth a dabble.

Regaining some defensive solidity has clearly been Sheridan’s main aim since taking over at Fleetwood, but his side have offered plenty going forward too. Not only did they score against MK Dons, but they created several scoring opportunities, while the same can be said about their penultimate match against Plymouth. In fact, considering how well Plymouth have done over the last few months, the fact that Fleetwood managed to create plenty of opportunities in that match was positive. Sheridan’s men did admittedly offer less of a constant threat away at Charlton last time out, but they still managed to fashion two big opportunities. What’s more, Fleetwood countered well in that match, which bodes well ahead of Tuesday’s clash, as Rochdale will get forward.

Rochdale have also looked better going forward of late, as they’ve notched in three of their last four. Their Wembley disappointment was followed by an excellent attacking performance away at Walsall, in which Hill’s side scored three goals. They also excelled when scoring (and winning) away at Rotherham after that. After a string of good performances, the Dale will be backing themselves to net on Tuesday night, that’s for sure.

This match between two improving sides is not easy to call. In truth, a case could be made for both. However, Fleetwood are the team who make more appeal at the prices. The visitors may not have won for a while (and Rochdale aren’t easy to beat on their own patch), but they’ve definitely turned a corner of late. All things considered, with both having shown plenty in the final third of late, backing ‘Both Teams to Score’, at what might just be a slightly generous price, is the best option, but a small bet on Fleetwood, who’ve recently shaped as though a win could be forthcoming, to edge and  come out on top is also worthwhile.

Head To Head

Fleetwood have struggled to beat Rochdale in recent times, as they’re without a win against the Dale since early 2015. Rochdale have avoided defeat in each of their last five against Fleetwood, two of which they’ve won. Earlier in the season, the pair drew 2-2.

Rochdale vs Fleetwood Town Stats

  • Both teams have scored in 61% of Fleetwood’s League One matches this season.

Rochdale Team News

Rochdale come into this match with no fresh injury problems, so they could continue with the same XI. Keith Keane and Niall Canavan remain out for the hosts.

Fleetwood Town Team News

Fleetwood are also in a fortunate position in terms of injuries, as they basically have a fully fit squad. Kevin O’Connor was the only absentee on Saturday and he remains the only doubt ahead of this match.

Rochdale vs Fleetwood Town Predictions

Both Teams To Score
Fleetwood Town to Win

Correct Score Prediction

Fleetwood Town 2-1
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