Pompey v Rochdale Preview

By Sam Stone

Pompey take on Rochdale on Friday night knowing a victory will propel them to third in League One – their highest position of the season.

After a couple of defeats in quick succession Jackett’s men bounced back with a win against MK Dons, albeit less than convincing. Goals from a returning Andy Cannon, John Marquis and Marcus Harness saw the Blues run out 3-1 winners.

However, it was not Pompey’s most fluent display of the season and have MK to thank for gifting Pompey all three goals.

MK’s expansive style was pleasing on the eye but also a huge factor in Pompey taking all three points and continue their superb home record.

Given that Coventry and Sunderland are playing each other this weekend it is a huge opportunity to put some significant pressure on the Sky Blues before they kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

Rochdale are coming off a 2-1 defeat to the Sky Blues and have been inconsistent throughout the majority of the season. However, they try to play an expansive style and have some good youth players that have excelled this season.

In the previous fixture Pompey managed to finally put in a good away performance and came away with a 3-0 win.

Rochdale’s ethos, much like MK Dons, was to play out at every chance and this left plenty of room for Pompey’s attacking threats to exploit; Ronan Curtis scoring two on that day.

If Rochdale come and play like they have in previous years I can only see one result. Last year Pompey won 4-1 due to the amount of space that Dale gifted Pompey in attacking areas.

Their expansive style is commendable but hasn’t worked on previous occasions. If Pompey can use their counter attacking prowess more regularly than they did on Tuesday, then it should be another routine victory.

I feel this game could really suit both Ryan Williams and Ronan Curtis if they both press high. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Rochdale mistake leads to a goal or two for Pompey.

Kenny Jackett made five changes on Tuesday and I wouldn’t be surprised if they utilise his squad depth yet again before an appetising cup tie against Arsenal on Monday.

This should be a routine day at the office, even if Pompey weren’t up to their best like Tuesday.


Photo: MK Dons FC

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