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The Opposition - Rochdale

Ryan Petterson looks at Rochdale and who their danger-men might be.

13 August 2018

Philip Oldham / BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Rochdale boss, Keith Hill
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Grimsby Town kick-off their Carabao Cup 2018-19 campaign when they welcome Sky Bet League One side Rochdale to Blundell Park on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Michael Jolley’s men will be hoping to continue where they left off last weekend as they picked up a 2-0 League Two win over Macclesfield Town at The Moss Rose, through goals from Jordan Cook and Charles Vernam.

But Keith Hill’s side – who reached the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup last season as they were knocked out by Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur – will be looking to improve on their 4-1 league defeat to Peterborough United on Saturday.

The Dale had kicked off their 2018-19 league campaign in impressive form with a 2-1 away win over Burton Albion on the opening day, and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways tomorrow night.

Transfer activity

Keith Hill’s side have had a relatively quiet summer as they look to build on the previous campaign, with the core of the squad still in place for the 2018-19 season.

Centre-half Niall Canavan was allowed to sign for fellow-League One side Plymouth Argyle, while young left-back Mark Kitching made the move to National League outfit Hartlepool United.

Steve Davies, Keith Keane, and Reece Brown are still without clubs after leaving Spotland this summer.

But the Dale have made some astute signings this summer, including experienced striker Aaron Wilbraham, whose last-gasp winner against Nottingham Forest on the final day of last season helped keep Bolton Wanderers in the Championship for another year.

Hill also captured the signature of 26-year-old midfielder Brad Inman from Peterborough – following his season-long loan at the Dale last term – who scored a brace against Burton on the opening day.

Defensive midfielders Jordan Williams and David Perkins also helped strengthen the Dale’s ranks, following their moves from Liverpool and Wigan Athletic, respectively.

Young defender James Finnerty and winger Stephen Dooley joined from Aston Villa and Northern Irish Premiership side Coleraine, respectively, as the Dale brought in six summer signings.

Ones to watch

Tomorrow’s visitors will be hoping to improve on last season’s Carabao Cup exploits, as they beat Mansfield Town 1-0 in the first round before losing 4-0 to Stoke City in the second round, and they certainly have the talent in their ranks to achieve that.

Experienced striker Ian Henderson poses arguably the biggest threat to Town in tomorrow’s cup clash, following scoring 20 goals in 50 games in all competitions for the Dale last season.

The 33-year-old, who has been at the club since 2013, has found the net 124 times in his career, including a consolation goal in last weekend’s defeat to Peterborough.

And Henderson will be hoping to get on the scoresheet again at Blundell Park tomorrow.

Academy graduate, and attacking-midfielder, Callum Camps is a potential danger threat to Town tomorrow as he likes to be the creative play-maker in the centre of the park.

The 22-year-old has scored 16 goals in 134 career league appearances for the Dale since his debut in 2013, and he could play an important part in their 2018-19 campaign.

Forward Joe Thompson scored the goal that ensured the Dale’s League One status for another season as they beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 on the final day of the 2017-18 campaign.

But the 29-year-old’s vital goal came following a period of trauma and difficulty in his personal life, as he had just beaten off cancer for the second time in four years.

The midfielder – who has been at the club since 2016 – has completed his recovery and featured in the Dale’s 2-1 win over Burton on the opening day.

It could prove to be an exciting night at Blundell Park tomorrow as the Mariners look to win their first cup game since returning to the EFL in 2016.

But if tomorrow’s match does end in a draw, there will be no replays or extra-time as the tie goes straight to penalties.

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