The Crown Oil Arena plays host to a vital game at the bottom of League Two on Saturday afternoon as Rochdale host Gillingham.
The hosts find themselves at the foot of the League Two table, having only picked up 21 points from their 31 league games so far this campaign. The table is looking bleak for The Dale, who are currently six points away from safety and have played more games than the teams outside of the relegation zone.
Rochdale come into this weekend on the back of a dreadful run of form which has seen them go six games without a loss, whilst only gaining one point out of the last eighteen which were available. However, their recent form is somewhat misleading as four of their last six fixtures were against sides who are currently in the top six of League Two.
Jim Bentley’s side featured in midweek action on Tuesday evening as they faced the daunting task of a trip to Brisbane Road to face the league leaders. Ruel Sotiriou and Idris El Mizouni netted first-half goals for Orient to give them a comfortable lead but the Dale pulled one back through a Danny Lloyd after the break as the game ended 2-1.
Gillingham sit just outside of the relegation zone in 21 place, after picking up 27 points from their 29 league games so far thi campaign. The Gills are just one point above Hartlepool and Crawley and could find themselves inside the relegation zone by the end of play this weekend.
Neil Harris’ side come into this tie following their best form of the season so far, which has seen Gillingham win four of their last six league outings. This has included impressive wins against the likes of Colchester, Grimsby and Hartlepool.
Gillingham were also in action on Tuesday night as they hosted Grimsby Town at Priestfield Stadium. George Lapslie and Oli Hawkins both scored their first goals for the club as Gills beat Grimsby 2-1 to climb out of the relegation places.
Gillingham have dominated the recent history of this fixture, and are undefeated in the last six meetings, having won three and drawn three. These six games have often been high scoring, with an average of 2.8 goals.
When these sides met at the beginning of the season, Gillingham claimed a deserved 1-0 victory thanks to a Scott Kashket winner on his home debut. The Gills had the majority of the game's chances and five shots on target compared to only one Rochdale shot on target.
These sides are very evenly matched at the bookies ahead of this clash but it is Rochdale who are narrowly favoured @ 8/5, whilst an away win for Gillingham is currently priced @ 17/10. Tom Nichols, who joined Gillingham in the January transfer window is the favourite to score in the game @ 2/1.
We are backing Gillingham to win and both teams to score because they come into the tie with the superior league form, having won three of their last five. Furthermore, the Gills have enjoyed this fixture in recent years.