Our prediction for this League 1 match:
Thursday’s Boxing Day game at Crown Oil Arena pits together Rochdale and Fleetwood Town, the two teams who sit in the opposite halves of the League One standings ahead of Matchday 23. Rochdale failed to impress in a 3-1 loss to Burton Albion, with the team remaining in the danger zone in the standings, while Fleetwood Town are only two points behind the play-offs berth after sharing the spoils with Rotherham United at the weekend.
Considering that the Dale suffered six losses in the last seven league games, we are tempted to put our money on the visitors. The Fishermen need to be at their sharpest in the upcoming festive fixtures if they are to stay in the race for a place in the playoffs, which is yet another reason why away win should be considered. A man to watch in the away team will be Wales international Ched Evans, who scored a brace in the 2-2 draw with the Millers.
Highlighted Player (Ryan McLaughlin):
Ryan McLaughlin is a Northern Ireland international who plays for Rochdale in the League One as a right-back. McLaughlin started his youth career at Glenavon back in 2009 and two years later he was spotted by Liverpool scouts, who persuaded him to join the Reds youth academy.
However, instead of playing for Liverpool at senior level, the Northern Ireland defender spent two seasons on loan at Barnsley and Aberdeen before moving to Oldham Athletic. After scoring three goals in 52 league appearances for the club, Ryan McLaughlin joined Rochdale in 2019 for an undisclosed fee.
McLaughlin made his League One debut with the Dale on January 26, 2019 in a 2-1 loss at Barnsley. Speaking of his international career, the pacey right-back made his Northern Ireland debut on May 31, 2014 in a friendly against Uruguay. It has to be noted that the Rochdale defender can be used as both left-back and right midfielder as well.
Highlighted Team (Fleetwood):
Known for their attacking style of play, Fleetwood Town are a professional football club based in Fletwood, Lancashire. The Fishermen play their home matches at Highbury Stadium, the venue with the capacity of 5,327 (2,672 seated), with the team wearing red and white shirts in home matches.
On the other hand, Fleetwood footballers are dressed in yellow when playing on the travels. The original club was founded back in 1908 under the name of Fleetwood FC and 69 years later they were re-established as Fleetwood Town F.C. In 1998 the club was renamed to Fleetwood Wanderers after the second reformation.
Legendary England footballer Joey Barton is considered one of the club’s most notable coaches. Barton, who was known for his incidents on the field, has been in charge since June 2, 2018. Neighbouring club Blackpool are regarded as one of Fleetwood’s main rivals. The Fishermen have built up rivalries with Morecambe and Preston North End as well.