Our prediction for this League 2 match:
Rochdale and Bristol Rovers go head to head at Spotland Stadium on the penultimate day of the season. The Dale have been producing much better showings at home than on the travels of late, with the team eyeing their third consecutive triumph on home soil. Both Newby and O’Keeffe are pushing for a start as Robbie Stockdale is likely to make changes to the starting XI.
The Pirates, on the other hand, head into the match following a goalless draw with Forest Green. Bristol Rovers are on the cusp of securing a spot in the playoffs, but given their current position in the standings (6th), the visitors should be happy with one point from the match. Controversial manager Joey Barton is unlikely to make changes to the team that shared the spoils with the league leaders.
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 (Bristol Rovers):
Established back on August 1, 1883, Bristol Rovers are one of the oldest clubs in the League One. Bristol Rovers were formed after a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant under the name of Black Arabs after the Arabs rugby team.
This name, though, lasted no more than one season as the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. Five years later the club’s name was officially changes to Bristol Rovers. Nicknamed the Pirates, Bristol Rovers welcome their opponents at Memorial Stadium Horfield, the venue with the capacity of 12,296. Bristol Rovers are well known for their blue and white home kit, but they are dressed in yellow when playing on the travels.
Ricky Lambert, who used to play for the likes of Southampton and Liverpool in the Premier League, is regarded as one of the club’s most notable footballers. It has to be noted that Lambert scored 51 goals in 128 appearances for the Pirates in the league.