The Crown Oil Arena is the venue for a pivotal game at both ends of the table as Rochdale will be aiming to edge closer to safety whilst Swindon Town could find themselves within three points of the playoff places by the end of the weekend.
It’s been a miserable season so far for Rochdale and their supporters. Two managers, just six wins and 23 defeats from their opening 36 games and the club now face the very real possibility of falling into non-league for the first time in over a century.
Jim Bentley’s side are currently four points behind Crawley Town who occupy 23rd place who also have two games in hand over Rochdale. The Dale are a further point behind Hartlepool, and even a win this weekend would not lift Rochdale off the bottom of the table.
In the past few weeks, the Dale have started to turn their fortunes around as they managed to get a late equaliser against Crewe and recorded a surprise 2-0 victory over second-placed Stevenage two weeks ago.
However, last weekend Rochdale were left feeling disappointed once more as they were beaten 1-0 by Grimsby. Rochdale had some good chances in a tightly-contested game in which possession of the ball was shared almost evenly between the two teams however a moment of brilliance from George Lloyd was the difference between the teams on the day.
The visitors currently find themselves just inside the top half of the table in 11th place and are currently just six points behind Salford who occupy the final playoff place. Crucial, Swindon have at least one game in hand over three of the four teams above them in the league.
Swindon come into this game on the back of a disappointing few results that has seen the robins gain just two points from their last three outings in the league. This run has included a 2-1 defeat against Carlisle and a score draw against the league leaders.
Jody Morris’ side were in action on Tuesday night as they travelled to the Bescot Stadium to face Walsall. Chances were few and far between in the game and despite having more possession, shots and shots on target, Swindon were unable to break the deadlock as the game finished goalless.
Swindon's away form will need to improve if they are to present a serious promotion bid as the robins have only won one of their last six away outings, having recorded away defeats against the likes of Colchester and Newport.
The home side have a good home record against Swindon and are undefeated at Spotland Stadium in the last five meetings, having drawn twice and won on three occasions.
Swindon breezed to a 3-0 victory when these sides met in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the campaign. A Jacob Wakeling goal inside the first minute was followed up by second-half goals from Jonny Williams and Harry McKirdy as Rochdale failed to present any threats all afternoon.
Unsurprisingly, given these sides respective league positions, it is Swindon who are favoured ahead of this clash @ 7/5, whilst a home win for Rochdale is currently priced @ 9/5. We are backing Devante Rodney to score first as he has been in impressive form recently, having netted twice in Rochdale's last four league outings.