Marcus Braddock previews the trip to Spotland
This Easter Friday, Shrewsbury Town take on Rochdale at Spotland with both teams needing the three points for different reasons. Our we know already but Dale are sitting at the wrong end of League One needing as many points as they can get to guarantee League One status. They're five points from safety in 23rd position and haven't won for five games but they have drawn with Southend and Wimbledon at home and Scunthorpe away in that sequence.
Ex Rochdale defender Keith Hill spent five years playing for them in the early years of this century, making over 150 appearances and scoring five times. His playing career also took him to Plymouth, Cheltenham, Wrexham, Morecambe and his first club Blackburn.
His management career started at Rochdale in 2006 as he helped them to promotion to League one and their highest league position in over 40 years. At his next club Barnsley things didn't work out as well as had been hoped and he left the club after just under a year. A little while later he re-joined Dale and got them promoted back to League one in 2014 where they've been ever since.
Ian Henderson 9
Steve Davis 5
Matt Done 5
Calvin Andrew 3
Braden Inman 3
At home, Rochdale are rather good defensively, the seventh best defence in League One. They've only conceded twice in the first half of a league game at Spotland. Their second halves haven't been as good with twelve conceded. There is no difference in the amount of goals scored in either half with seven scored in each half this season.
Top scorer Ian Henderson has played more minutes than any other squad member with 2930 over 33 games.
The most common result at Spotland this season has been 0-0 which has occurred four times. The second most common result is 1-1 so the chances of a draw seem quite high. The chances of seeing no goals in the first half are even higher with ten home games ending the first half goalless!
Town will be without Abu Ogogo who is serving the second game of his four game suspension. Fellow central midfielder Bryn Morris is also suspended for one game after his yellow card. Ben Godfrey may be available after a quick recovery from his hamstring injury. James Bolton is nearing fitness but won’t be ready this weekend.
On the face of it we should win this game, we're top of the league (at the time of writing), have great away form and Rochdale aren't in the best form of their lives. But as mentioned, they're quite a strong team and will take some beating if we want all three points. Paul Hurst may have to change things tactically to enable him to manage the suspensions we have in midfield and defence so that may give us a little advantage with Keith Hill not certain how we'll line up. That said, not having Ogogo and Morris is a big blow but the possible inclusion of Ben Godfrey is a positive with our most important games ahead of us.