Vale make the trip to Spotland on Saturday hoping to extend their recent impressive run, which has seen Vale win their last four matches in all competitions. Vale have gone six games without defeat and won four League One games in a row.
Rob Page will be looking for all three points on Saturday, but would probably settle for a draw, especially looking at Vale’s record against Rochdale when on their travels.
Vale’s last league win at Spotland came back in October 1984, when under 2,000 fans witnessed a 2-1 victory for the Valiants.
Coincidently, 1984 was the last time a Vale player scored in five consecutive matches. With Ajay Leitch-Smith scoring five goals in the last four games, that is another run that we could see come to an end on Saturday afternoon.
‘Dale’ boss Keith Hill, currently enjoying his second spell in the hot seat at Rochdale, strengthened his squad this week, bringing in 22-year-old Republic of Ireland under 21 international John Sullivan.
The Blackburn Rovers midfielder made two appearances for Rovers towards the end of last season and has also had experience of first team football on loan at Southport, Accrington Stanley and Barnsley.
Rochdale’s form has been up and down so far this season. They drew a blank in three consecutive matches in October, but picked up a point in each of those games.
They against shared the points in their next fixture, this time in a 2-2 draw against Southend United at Roots Hall.
Since then, they have won in the Fa Cup, lost in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, lost two league fixtures by a 2-0 scoreline and also won 2-0 against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.
In preparing for this weekend’s match, Rob Page has had to make sure extra care has been made for the recovery of his players after they had played three games in the space of six days up to Tuesday evening.
The Vale boss has injury concerns about winger Byron Moore, who had been carrying a slight hamstring problem due to those three games in quick succession, and then tweaked his other hamstring on Tuesday, forcing him to come off.
Vale will leave it late before making a decision of the former Crewe man, but the manager has several options at his disposal, should Moore not make it in time for Saturday’s fixture.
Players such as Uche Ikpeazu and midweek goal scorer Chris Birchall could come in to the equation, as too could winger Sam Kelly, who has scored one and set up two in Vale’s last two games.
Don’t forget, if you are unable to make it to the game, you can listen to full match commentary on Valiant Player HD, courtesy of Radio Stoke.
You can also read the match report of the Official Port Vale website, just moments after he final whistle.