After rain curtailed the first attempt at staging this League One fixture, Oldham and Rochdale fans will once again descend on Spotland to give it another crack.
Five minutes was the reward for braving torrential downpours last time as the referee abandoned the fixture and took the players off the pitch. The general consensus was that the decision was the right one, but made at the wrong time as the referee’s attempts to leave it as long as possible backfired spectacularly.
It could have been worse. Both sides nearly hit the back of the net thanks to the conditions.
Thankfully, they either narrowly missed the target or saw the shot saved as a goal lead for either side may have heightened fans’ disappointment and soured the already tetchy relationship between the two rival groups of supporters.
However, conditions may still have something to say about the outcome of the match. Having faced water in its liquid form, its solid form may also affect proceedings with heavy frost in Rochdale. A cold snap has hit the UK in recent days and, although Rochdale has been spared snow, could see the fixture postponed yet again. There will be a 10am pitch inspection before the game.
Neither side will want a postponement as both could do with the boost of a derby win. Oldham have been unbeaten recently as they climbed to the fringe of the play-offs, but may be shell-shocked after surrendering a three-goal lead to Exeter in the week.
Rochdale, on the other hand, have slid down the table in recent weeks and are currently on a five-game run without a win. To be fair to Keith Hill’s men, the performances have been strong, but the newly-promoted side have been naive in terms of claiming points.
The Dale manager will have a full complement of players available, which is more than his Oldham counterpart can look forward too.
Despite boosting his ranks with the returning Neale Trotman, doubts remain over the fitness of Kieran Lee, who has missed the last two matches, and Filipe Morais is also suspended for Paul Dickov’s side.
The form will be with the Scot and his Latics charges, but the form book goes out of the window in a derby.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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