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Preview | Rochdale (a)

A break from the league this weekend and an FA Cup first round tie away at League Two Rochdale and a game where Notts might fancy their chances and will relish the opportunity to see just how they currently compare to league opposition.


Current Form:

Notts go into this game in decent form having secured 10pts from a possible 12 in the league as well as a 4-0 win at home over Tamworth in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.


Rochdale find themselves mid table in League Two after an indifferent start to the season but are unbeaten in their last 4 league games despite being second best to League One Bolton Wanderer's in the Papa John's EFL Trophy on Tuesday night.

Looking at the head to head the last time the two sides met was October 2016 in the EFL Trophy at Spotland with Dale taking the honours.


In fact the last time Notts won at Spotland was a cold Tuesday night in February 2012 where a Hamza Bencherif goal was the difference in front of a crowd of just 2,326.


Overall the two clubs have faced each other on 41 occasions with Notts coming out on top with 17 wins to 11 for Dale.


Players:

Notts fans will know all about central defender Sam Graham who spent time at Notts on loan from Sheffield United in both of the last two seasons with injury curtailing the number of games he could play for the Magpies.


Graham made a permanent move to Rochdale on a free transfer in the summer after being released by the Blades.


Sam Graham at Notts County

Dale's top scorer so far this season is Jake Beesley who has netted 6 times, 2 of those goals in the EFL Trophy.


However, my one to watch will be 19 year old Jeriel Dorsett. The exciting young defender has already represented England at U18 level and joined Rochdale in the summer on a season long loan from parent club Reading.


Dorsett is the sort of modern day LCB we are now becoming much more accustomed to. Comfortable on the ball he can be a threat going forward as well as having the ability to pick out a long pass and offers options on the overlap.


Of course he can defend as well and averages a decent win percentage of 74% of all defensive duels.

Rochdale's Jeriel Dorsett - (pic: @dorsett_jeriel Twitter)

Tactics:

Rochdale tend to line up with a back three with a 3-4-3 formation being the most utilised so far this season.


This can become a defensive 5-4-1 when necessary making it difficult for opponents to penetrate their defensive lines.


Rochdale often have the most passes in their games and much of this will be due to the 3-4-3 formation which naturally creates a number of passing options when building from deep.


Notts appear to have found their groove of late with the 3-5-2 which you would expect them to deploy again on Sunday. One of the benefits of this when playing against a 3-4-3 is that it can create a 3v2 overload in the middle of the park and help to isolate the opponents forwards from their midfield.


Odds:

As expected the bookies have made Rochdale favourites for the home win.


Currently you are looking at odds of 4/5 on Rochdale, 16/5 for the away win and 3/1 for the draw.


If there is no winner after 90 minutes there will be a replay at Meadow Lane (TBC).


The prize money for progressing to the next round is £22,629 and as the game has been selected for highlights coverage by the BBC both clubs will receive an extra £12,000.


COYP!

Richard


Notes:

Betting odds are only used as another means to assess current form and sporting industry expectations of possible result. Notts County Stats do not endorse any form of gambling or betting industry associated businesses.

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