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Match Previews

Rochdale Preview

20 February 2015

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Chesterfield return to face some familiar League Two foes from last season as they travel to Greater Manchester to take on Rochdale at Spotland.

Both teams climbed out of the fourth tier automatically last year and have settled into League One life comfortably this term, though it seems a long time since the last time the teams met.

That encounter took place in the warmth of August when two Eoin Doyle penalties got the Spireites off to the perfect Proact Stadium start in the first match of the league season.

Team News

In his Friday press conference manager Paul Cook revealed that talisman Gary Roberts would play at Spotland, set to return after missing a month with a hamstring injury.

Young winger Gboly Ariyibi will also keep his place in the starting line-up after impressing on his full debut on Tuesday night at Scunthorpe United, with the Spireites squad missing only Dan Gardner to injury.

Saturday's hosts will face the Spireites without defender Rhys Bennett and midfielder Matty Lund, who are both unavailable through injury.

However, Rochdale manager Keith Hill does have defender Tom Kennedy to choose from again after his return from a loan spell in the Championship at Blackpool.

Form Guide

The recent similarities between the sides are striking, both teams are newly promoted and still with an eye out for the play-off spots, despite having sold their star attacker during the January transfer.

The parallels extend to the clubs' February form. After starting the month with victory at Notts County the Spireites have suffered three successive defeats, while the Dale have lost their two February encounters and have picked up just a point from their last four matches.

Rochdale have played their last three matches away from Spotland and will be looking to get their play-off push back on track with the visits of Chesterfield on Saturday followed by Sheffield United on Tuesday night.

From the Dugout

Cook spoke to Spireites Player before the match and talked of his admiration of Rochdale's manager.

"For me, Keith's one of the brightest young managers in league football," said Cook. "I know Rochdale myself from being a player and when you see them knocking Nottingham Forest out of the cup and having Stoke at home and giving them a proper game, selling players and gaining promotion; these are the kind of managers that in my opinion we should be promoting quicker.

"Even into our England Under-21s and teams like that because they know the game inside out.

"We always have good games with Rochdale and I'm sure tomorrow will be no different."

With the two teams locking horns regularly in recent times the Spireites manager says the clubs now have an intimate knowledge of each other.

"Keith knows us inside out, he's followed us into League One, he's played us, watched us and he'll know the problems I have - like I know the problems he has.

"It'll be a good game, it's a good game for people to watch because both teams want to play football. The teams may have different styles tomorrows in how they play but our approaches will be the same.

"Both managers desperately want to win and both managers after the game will share a beer together."

Supporters not able to get to Spotland on Saturday can listen to live full match commentary on Spireites Player, follow minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter, or see score updates on the club's Facebook page.


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