Rochdale are in a 12 team Relegation Scrap, Playing This Midfield Duo Today COULD Edge Them Closer to Safety

Much has been made this week about the possibility of a 12-team relegation battle taking place in League One this season, as only 9 points separate bottom to 12th. Remarkably only 3 points separate 21st to 12th.

Rochdale have another great opportunity to take a big potential step closer to safety, when they take on Scunthorpe at Spotland today. They should be well rested after last weeks postponed game against Accrington and, according to caretaker manager Brian Barry-Murphy, only long term absentees; Josh Lillis, Rekeil Pyke & Zach Clough are missing for the match.

I believe these two players starting the game against Scunthorpe are crucial to coming away with all three points.

13. Jimmy Keohane.

Rochdale fans haven’t had much chance to see him in action since his signing. His only appearance this season coming in Dales last fixture against Oxford United. He was brought on following an injury to Ryan McLaughlin and although, not primarily a right back he looked an interesting proposition in that role.

When Keohane signed in February this year on a free transfer, former manager Keith Hill and current caretaker manager Brian Barry-Murphy spoke well of him, and expectations were high but for whatever reason, he was never given a place in his starting 11.

Many supporters at Spotland (Crown Oil Arena) were pleased to see his inclusion against Oxford, as it was seen to be Brian Barry-Murphy trying something different, which has been much needed recently, to instil a glimmer of hope for the Rochdale faithful.

14. Oliver Rathbone.

Oli’s commitment, unwavering stamina and energy has been missed at Spotland since his injury, and his return has been a contributory factor in Dale taking four points from the last two home games. His return to fitness from injury is a very welcome boost to the survival efforts, and he is perhaps a bit of an unsung hero.

Since Andy Cannon’s departure to Portsmouth in the January transfer window. Oli has been able to take over a central midfield position and hopefully, his determination will be a major part in Rochdale’s bid for League One survival.

Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan’s emergency loan has been extended by another week which is a vital move, considering his form of late. There has also been no update on the managerial position permanently and, with each day that passes by with no change you have to think BBM is strengthening his position for the role permanently.