Kyle Dempsey and Olly Lee will hope to shake off minor injuries as Gillingham prepare to lock horns with Rochdale.
Gillingham v Rochdale
Sky Bet League One
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Saturday January 23
Steve Evans confirmed that Olly Lee and Kyle Dempsey are doubts for the game having picked up knocks against Accrington Stanley. The Gills boss also said that Stuart O’Keefe could be in contention to play after playing well in a midweek training ground game.
Tyreke Johnson could start having joined the club permanently earlier in the week, and Jacob Mellis should be fit enough for the bench.
Rochdale’s new loan signing Gabriel Osho will be available having signed on loan from Luton. Jake Beesley will be a doubt having come off with an injury against Doncaster Rovers.
Brian Barry Murphy may continue to field a makeshift back four as Rochdale go through an injury crisis in defence.
Steve Evans - "We know how tough it's going to be on Saturday.
“I went to The Valley recently and watched them draw 4-4 and it was very exciting to watch. Rochdale are a good side; they are a difficult team to play against.
“I travelled up to Doncaster on Tuesday evening to watch them lose by the odd goal. Supporters can do their own research and go on to YouTube and watch the clips, Rochdale should have left with all three points, never mind nothing."
Olly Lee - "I think we have a strong spine in the team; we have a little bit of everything.
"I had a little knock from the weekend but the team have been managing it well, hopefully it will be okay.
"It should be an exciting game."
Brian Barry Murphy - “The challenge for us as we develop and get more experience is to show that all the time and not sporadically, because if we don’t find that consistency there will be moments in the season that will undermine the potential within the squad.”
19/12/2020 - Rochdale 1-4 Gillingham- Sky Bet League One
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
The last meeting between the two sides saw Gillingham win at Spotland for the first time in over a decade. Steve Evans’ side won 4-1 in the most convincing win of the season so far. Rob McKenzie, John Akinde and Connor Ogilvie all scored in the first half to put Gills 3-0 up.
Akinde added a fourth and his second from the penalty spot right after half-time, and Eoghan O’Connell scored in stoppage time to prevent Gillingham getting a clean sheet.
The last game between the two sides at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium came at the end of December 2019. Connor Ogilvie’s late goal secured all three points for Gills as they won 1-0.
Gillingham now lead the head-to-head statistics with 17 wins to Rochdale’s 16, and there have been 18 draws between the sides.
Gillingham win - 23/20
Draw - 12/5
Rochdale win - 21/10
Special Bet: Alex MacDonald to score first and Gillingham to win 2-0 - 40/1.
Referee: Christopher Pollard
Assistants: Simon Shaw and Michael Begley
Fourth Official: Will Finnie
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