Our prediction for this League 1 match:
Crown Oil Arena will host Saturday's football game between Rochdale and Portsmouth, the two teams who sit in the middle of the League One table ahead of Matchday 19. The Dale are on a four-game losing run in the English third tier, with the team slipping down the standings week by week. Since the situation in their dressing room is alarming ahead of the visit of Portsmouth, home win should not be considered.
The Pompey, on the other, outclassed Southend United 4-1 in their last league fixture, with the team regaining a much-needed confidence. Kenny Jacket's troops aim to move a little closer to the play-offs berth in the League One standings, and they are surely capable of beating Rochdale, who suffered a dip in form. Ellis Harrison scored a brace in the 4-1 win over Southend United, meaning that the opposition defenders should have him at bay.
Highlighted Player (Eoghan O\'Connell):
Eoghan O’Connell is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a center back for Rochdale. O'Connell, who hails from the village of Douglas, was born on the 13th of August, 1995. In his early days, the defender used to play for two renowned Irish academies in College Corinthians and Avondale United before switching to the Celtic Academy in 2011.
He made his professional debut on the 29th of March, 2014, featuring in Celtic's 1-1 draw against Ross Country in the Scottish Premiership. His time at the Hoops included sporadic first-team appearances and loan spells with teams Oldham Athletic, Cork City, and Walsall. However, he won Celtic's Academy Player of the Year 2014 award and was included in the reputed Irish publication Journal.ie's " 10 most promising young Irish Footballers" article. His search for regular playing time brought O'Connell to Bury, whom he joined in June 2017.
He remained at the club for two seasons before signing for his current club Rochdale on a two-year contract starting on the 4th of July, 2019. Additionally, the 24-year-old has capped for the Republic of Ireland's under-19 and the under-21 team. He made his under-21 debut on the 2nd of September, 2017, in a 2-0 UEFA European Under-21 Qualifier win over Slovenia.
Highlighted Team (Portsmouth):
During Milan Mandaric’s era at the club, Portsmouth played an important role in the Premier League, with the team finishing their debut season (2003/2004) in the 13th position in the standings. The club impressed in the 2008/2009 season, with Nwankwo Kanu’s goal helping them beat Cardiff City in the FA Cup final.
As a result, Portsmouth represented England in the Europa League, with the team progressing in the group stages of the competition thanks to a win over Vitoria Gimaraes in the final qualifying round. The current club was formed in 2013, but the original amateur club was founded back in 1883. Nowadays Portsmouth host their rivals at Fratton Park, with the venue holding up to 20,620 spectators.
The likes of Sol Campbell, David James, Glen Johnson and aforementioned Nigeria international Nwankwo Kanu are considered one of the club’s most notable players. Portsmouth wear blue shirts, white shorts and red socks when hosting their rivals at Fratton Park, while wearing white and blue colours when playing on the road.