Steve Evans may have to reshuffle his pack once more as Gills look to climb into the top half of Sky Bet League 1.
Rochdale v Gillingham
Sky Bet League One
Crown Oil Arena
Saturday December 19
Steve Evans confirmed that it is likely that Jordan Graham and Dominic Samuel will not return from injury until after Christmas. Samuel was stretchered off with a hamstring injury during Tuesday’s defeat to Accrington Stanley.
Trae Coyle could return to the squad having missed out on Tuesday due to a slight muscle strain. Having impressed against Accrington, Josh Eccles is likely to keep his place in the starting eleven.
Rochdale saw Jimmy Ryan subbed off in their 5-0 win against Wigan with a knock and is a doubt to start the game. Aside from that, Saturday’s hosts are unlikely to make many changes after the convincing win. Stephen Dooley could come in to replace Ryan having scored a second half goal.
Matt Lund, Alex Newby and Jim McNulty are a few of the names that should retain their place in the starting eleven.
Steve Evans - "We are as down to the bare bones as we could be, but what do you do? You get in the trenches and you fight.
“We now go back to the training ground and work hard. We always thought we would need to be within five or six points when we turn the Christmas period. That’s the key for us. That still remains the same and hopefully one or two results may help us.”
Alex MacDonald - "The league this year is relentless, and it's tough.
"We are well aware of what Rochdale will bring to the table, but we are also well aware that when we are on it, and playing to our strengths, we are a match for anyone in this division."
Brian Barry-Murphy - “There are always fine margins of play, and, as such, it underpins our overall philosophy in that we just want to really focus on the way we play and get better at that and add more facets to that.
“If we lose games on any given week we want to have an understanding of why, and it’s the methodology and mantra that has served the lads really well in terms of understanding the way we want to work and has given them clarity in times when we don’t get the results that we want.”
25/01/2020 - Rochdale 2-2 Gillingham -Sky Bet League One
29/12/2019 - Gillingham 1-0 Rochdale - Sky Bet League One
30/03/2019 - Gillingham 1-1 Rochdale - Sky Bet League One
15/09/2018 - Rochdale 3-0 Gillingham - Sky Bet League One
13/01/2018 - Gillingham 2-1 Rochdale - Sky Bet League One
The last meeting between the two teams came at Rochdale in January of this year. The game ended in a 2-2 draw and it saw Jordan Roberts score a brace on the day.
The Gills last victory at Rochdale came in May 2009 before the play-off campaign which ultimately resulted in Gills earning promotion. Curtis Weston scored the only goal of the game, and it was a spectacular solo effort, as it helped secure a fifth place finish.
There have been 50 meetings between the two sides, and the draw has been the most common result occurring 18 times. Both Gillingham and Rochdale have beaten one another 16 times.
Rochdale win - 29/20
Draw - 11/5
Gillingham win - 9/5
Special Bet: John Akinde to score first and Gillingham to win 3-1 - 85/1.
Referee: Ollie Yates
Assistants: Steven Rushton and Gary Hilton
Fourth Official: James Bell
All UK subscribers can watch Saturday’s game for a one-off fee of £10! Click the below image to purchase your match pass.