Already relegated Rochdale will be aiming to record a victory to restore some pride as they are set to host Sutton United at the Crown Oil Arena in the penultimate matchday of the League Two campaign.
It’s been a miserable season so far for Rochdale and their supporters. Three managers, just eight wins and 26 defeats from their 44 league games, and a loss last weekend confirmed that the club would fall into non-league for the first time in over a century.
Following consecutive victories over Wimbledon and Walsall at the beginning of April, the Rochdale faithful began to believe that an unlikely survival story may be on the cards. However, the Dale have failed to win any of their four league games since then and were condemned to relegation following a defeat at the weekend.
Last time out, Rochdale were narrowly defeated by promotion-chasing Stockport County. Tanto Olaofe’s first home strike for County on the stroke of half-time proved the difference between the two sides as Rochdale’s relegation was mathematically confirmed.
After a terrible run of results, Sutton have slipped down into the bottom half of the League Two table, now finding themselves in 13th place in the table. At the beginning of March, Sutton looked in a prime position to be in the battle for a place in the playoffs.
However, The U’s are in the midst of their worst run of results of the season at the worst possible time. Sutton come into this weekend having not won any of their last nine league outings and having lost five on the bounce.
This run of fixtures have been hard, with Sutton recording defeats against the likes of Leyton Orient, Bradford, and Northampton, who are all in the picture to gain promotion.
Last weekend, Sutton suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Colchester despite taking a lead in the game. The U’s opened the scoring in the 11th minute thanks to David Ajiboye however went on to lose the game 4-1 as Colchester converted four of their six shots on target in the game.
The history of Rochdale versus Sutton is a relatively new one, as the two clubs have only faced each other three times. Sutton United gained promotion to the English Football League for the first time in 2021, and their inclusion in League Two has given rise to this new rivalry.
It was Sutton who recorded a narrow victory in a tight affair when these sides met in the reverse fixture earlier on in the campaign. Will Randall’s 38th-minute goal direct from a corner proved to be the difference between the two sides in a game that was devoid of many clear-cut chances.
Unsurprisingly, given these sides respective league positions, it is Sutton who are favourites heading into this matchup, currently priced @ 5/4, whilst a rare home win for Rochdale is priced @ 2/1.
We are backing Rochdale to win and BTTS because they have won their only previous League Two match at home to Sutton 3-2. Furthermore, Sutton come into this weekend having lost their last five League Two outings, their longest-ever losing streak in the league.