Our prediction for this League 1 match:
Sunderland and Rochdale face each other in a David-vs-Goliath clash at Stadium of Light. The Black Cats have been producing fine displays in the League One of late, with the team climbing the standings week by week. Sunderland are only five points behind automatic promotion places, and we are positive that they will go all guns blazing at Rochdale. Charlie Wyke, who scored his 19th goal of the season on Tuesday evening, will be the man to watch in the home team.
The Dale, on the other hand, sit in the relegation zone ahead of Matchday 34. The relegation strugglers failed to impress in back-to-back losses to Burton (0-2) and Hull City (0-2), and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Sunderland’s party at Stadium of Light. Midfielder Conor Shaughnessy is banned for the visitors, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Will Grigg):
Wighan Athletic striker Will Grigg became a viral sensation during the European Championship in France but the chances are any avid football fan will have been well aware of his goalscoring exploits even before 2016. The 27-year-old forward began his career at Stratford Town but it was in Walsall that the world took notice of his presence after 27 goals in 99 performances for the club.
He first came to prominence during the 2012/13 season when he was voted the club’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season, but a loan spell at Milton Keynes Dons during his rather unfortunate two-year spell over at Brentford proved crucial for his career.
The total of 20 goals in 44 appearances at Stadium MK was where Wigan Athletic noticed the Northern Ireland man and moved in to sign him on a three year contract for a £1 million fee in 2015. ‘Will Grigg’s on Fire’ was the hit song of the Euro 2016 even though the Northern Ireland striker ended up not getting a chance to make a bow in the tournament.
Highlighted Team (Rochdale):
Nicknamed the Dale, Rochdale are a professional English club that compete in the League One (English third tier). Rochdale were founded back in 1907, after World War I, with the team beating Accrington Stanley 6-3 in their first league game 14 years later.
The Dale wear blue shirts with black stripes and blue shorts when playing at home, whilst gray is the dominant colour of their away kit. Spotland Stadium is the club’s home ground, with the venue holding no more than 10,249 spectators. Bury and Oldham Athletic are considered the club’s fiercest rivals, but they have built up rivalries with the likes of Halifax Town, Burnley, Stockport County, Wigan Athletic and Accrington Stanley as well.
Back in 1962 Rochdale made it to the Football League Cup final, with the team facing Norwich City in the title game. The Canaries proved to be a big catch for the Dale, but this is still considered the club’s biggest success. It has to be noted that the Spotland Stadium outfit have three Lancashire Cup titles as well (1948/1949, 1970/1971, 2004/2005).