Rochdale V Bristol Rovers at Crown Oil Arena : Match Preview

03 February 2017 04:34
Rochdale V Bristol Rovers - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Joel Taylor could make debut for injury-hit Rochdale

Defender Joel Taylor could make his Rochdale debut against Bristol Rovers after joining on loan from Stoke until the end of the season.

Midfielder Ollie Rathbone is also in contention to make the squad after returning to training this week, with sixth-placed Dale looking to bounce back from three successive defeats in League One and the FA Cup.

Dale will still be missing a number of players, though, with Josh Lillis and Matty Lund having this week undergone knee operations while striker Calvin Andrew faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a cheekbone injury in last weekend's cup defeat to Huddersfield.

Joe Bunney (fifth metatarsal fracture), Steven Davies (knee) and Joe Thompson (back) are also still out.

Rovers boss Darrell Clarke's main dilemma is how to start life without top scorer Matty Taylor.

The 19-goal Taylor made a contentious move to neighbours Bristol City on transfer deadline day, but Clarke is not short of forward options as the Pirates seek to end a run of six straight away league defeats.

Luke James and Rory Gaffney will be vying to take Taylor's place up front, while wingers Cristian Montano and Byron Moore could come into the reckoning if Clarke decides to make further changes to the side that started last weekend's 1-0 win over Swindon.

Bob Harris could also be added to the matchday squad after arriving as a free agent, with the former Sheffield United defender providing cover at left-back for Lee Brown.

Source: PAR