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Match Previews


21 January 2022

Match Previews


21 January 2022

The Bantams are on the road this Saturday, heading to Greater Manchester to face Rochdale at 3.00pm in Sky Bet League Two.

With one win in their last eight league outings, the Dale find themselves 18th in the table.

An impressive 3-0 victory over high-flying Newport County before Christmas looked to be an upturn in form, but a nearly-month-long absence due to COVID halted Robbie Stockdale's side who returned with a 2-0 loss to Tranmere Rovers last week. 

Rochdale - much like City - have specialised in draws this season, drawing nine games with four of those coming in November.

We have put together an Opposition Guide to give you all the information you need to know about our 25th league opponent of the season.


Rochdale enjoyed a busy transfer window in the summer, with 10 players joining the club and 11 players exiting - including former Premier League centre-back, Paul McShane.

The Dale have been active in the January window, losing top goal-scorer Jake Beesley and Aaron Morley to Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers respectively. 

The Greater Manchester outfit have signed defender Paul Downing on loan from Portsmouth to strengthen their backline, and welcomed striker Luke Charman from Darlington.

INCOMINGS: Aidy White (Hearts), Max Taylor (Manchester United U23s), Sam Graham (Sheffield United U23s), George Broadbent (Sheffield United U23s, loan), Corey O’Keefe (Mansfield Town, loan), Liam Kelly (Feynoord), Joel Coleman (Fleetwood), Josh Andrews (Birmingham U23s, loan), Jeriel Dorsett (Reading U23s, loan), Danny Cashman (Coventry, loan), Paul Downing (Portsmouth, loan), Luke Charman (Darlington).

OUTGOINGS: Kwadwo Bash (Watford), Conor Shaughnessy (Burton Albion), Paul McShane (Manchester United U23s), Harrison Hooper (York City), Matty Lund (Salford City), Stephen Humphrys (Wigan Athletic), Oliver Rathbone (Rotherham), Lewis Bradley (free agent), Jimmy Ryan (free agent), Kacper Mialkowski (free agent), Jake Beesley (Blackpool), Aaron Morley (Bolton).


Alex Newby

Newby operates in the No.10 role and has chipped in with five goals for the Dale so far this season, with two coming in their 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient.

The midfielder specialises in the spectacular - earning the Goal of the Season award in all three campaigns with former club Chorley. 

Liam Kelly

Another midfielder who enjoys chipping in with impressive goals, Kelly has three to his name thus far with two of those coming from outside of the box.

Kelly joined the Dale from Feyenoord in the Summer after spending time with Oxford United and Reading.

The 26-year-old has represented Republic of Ireland at under-19 and under-21 level.

Paul Downing

Downing joined the club on loan this month and went straight into Robbie Stockdale’s line-up for last weekend’s match.

The 30-year-old graduated from West Bromwich Albion’s academy and had spells with Blackburn Rovers and MK Dons before he joined Portsmouth.

Downing boasts a wealth of experience and Sky Bet League One level, having represented Walsall over 100 times in the division. 


Irish centre-back Eoghan O’Connell replaced Ian Henderson as Dale’s captain at the start of last season - having represented rivals Oldham and Bury before joining the club.

The 25-year-old has featured in 22 of Dale's 23 fixtures this season - only missing the club's first fixture of the season against Harrogate Town.

O’Connell graduated from Celtic's academy and made seven appearances for the Scottish giants before moving to Greater Manchester to join the Shakers.

Rochdale snatched O'Connell on a free transfer in 2019. He was named captain after only one season at the club.


Robbie Stockdale was appointed at the Crown Oil Arena on July 10, taking over from Brian Barry-Murphy who departed for Manchester City.

The Rochdale job is Stockdale’s first permanent managerial role, having previously led Sunderland as caretaker manager on three occasions, as well as Grismby Town in a joint effort.

Stockdale made over 70 Premier League appearances for Middlesbourgh in the late 1990s and early 2000s - predominantly playing at full-back.


Tranmere 2 (Charlie Jolley 3’, 16’)

Rochdale 0

DALE: Joel Coleman; Paul Downing, Eoghan O’Connell ©, Jeriel Dorsett, George Broadbent; Liam Kelly, Stephen Dooley, Aidan White (Danny Cashman 84’), Josh Andrews (Matt Done 61’); Alex Newby (Abraham Odoh 61’), Conor Grant SUBS (not used): Max Taylor, Jay Lynch, Jimmy McNulty, Ethan Bireley


Meetings: 97

City Wins: 48

Draws: 21

Rochdale Wins: 28

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