So if you are having a flutter ahead of Tuesday's match, make sure you do it via Sky Bet and select Rochdale as your favourite team! Fans should note that Sky Bet customers who select Rochdale as their favourite team on their Sky Bet profile, for every losing bet made, 50% of the stake will be passed on to the Club!
Hills men offered nowhere near enough going forward, while they were once again very easy to get at defensively. They may have lost narrowly according to the score-line, but Dale could have few complaints when Coventry visited this venue and left with all three points. Frankly, theyre unlikely to win if theyre surrendering 2.14 expected goals at home.
For all they are bottom of the table and thus eight points behind Rochdale, Wimbledons performances on the road of late have been slightly more impressive than Rochdales at home. The visitors were deserving winners away against fellow relegation scrappers in their last away match, while they also held their own (and were very unlucky) when losing by a goal to nil away against promotion chasers Sunderland prior to that.
Like Tuesdays hosts at home, Wimbledon have found it tough to score goals on the road this season, though they have notched in four of their last five travelling matches. The same cannot be said for Rochdale in front of a home crowd. Theyve only lost two of those five. Considering that both of those were one-goal defeats against teams right in the thick of the promotion battle, its fair to say that the Dons have acquitted themselves well on the road of late.
Head to Head
Even on their own patch, Dale have given away far too much; theyre conceding an average of 1.81 goals, while theyre also shipping an average 1.59 expected goals. They havent scored enough goals this season, even at home, as an average of 0.88 goals for suggests, but it is their efforts at the back that have landed them in trouble. Its not at all hard to see why Rochdale have shipped a total of 11 goals in their last five at Spotland. The second of those suggests that theyve been a bit unlucky, but it also shows that defensive solidity certainly isnt their thing.
They gave very little away when deservedly beating Southend in their most recent league match in front of a home crowd, with their average expected goal difference of +0.02, while anything but impressive, does tell us that theyre harder to beat than the league table suggests. Results havent been great for Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow this season, but theyve looked solid from a performance point of view.
Having lost away at Peterborough in League One last Tuesday, Wimbledon, whove recently appointed Wally Downes as their new boss, probably didnt go into their away FA Cup match feeling too confident, but the Dons dusted themselves off and bounced back nicely. After scoring three goals on that occasion, theyll fancy themselves to get a positive result at home against an inconsistent Rochdale outfit.
The Dons are far better equipped to keep clean sheets than Rochdale, which could be key on Saturday. Frankly, a repeat of their most recent home performance would be enough to see off their defensively inept visitors. Wimbledon dont have the attacking power to really kill teams off, or at least they rarely show such an ability, but what they do have is defensive stability.
Rochdale arent the worst team in the world, but they can certainly be got at, while the Dons are more useful than the league table would have us believe on their own patch. In what will be Wally Downes first match in charge, AFC Wimbledon have a good opportunity to gain what would be just a second league win in over two months.
Prediction Rochdale-AFC Wimbledon: x2 (Odd 1.95)
Frankly, a repeat of their most recent home performance would be enough to see off their defensively inept visitors. The Dons are far better equipped to keep clean sheets than Rochdale, which could be key on Saturday. Wimbledon dont have the attacking power to really kill teams off, or at least they rarely show such an ability, but what they do have is defensive stability.
All in all, theres plenty to like about the way Wimbledon have gone about their business on the road of late; theyre not likely to go and give anyone a battering, but theyre very competitive, can stay in games, while theyre better defensively than their hosts. On this basis, its easy to feel that the visitors should be a shorter price in the betting, so supporting them in the Draw No Bet market offers punters a slither of value.
In terms of overall goals scored, Wimbledon cannot match Rochdale, but they have scored more on the road than Rochdale have scored at home in recent weeks, while the Dons also look far more likely to keep things tight at the back, as theyve conceded an average of 1.23 expected goals on the road, which is someway better than Rochdales average of 1.59 against at home.