MX23RW : Thursday, January 20 23:13:56| >> :600:196195:196195:
Dec 8, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Victoria Park
HartlepoolHartlepool United
Cullen (64'), Shelton (90+2')
Odusina (15')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Andrews (55')
White (66')

Preview: Hartlepool United vs. Rochdale - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's League Two clash between Hartlepool United and Rochdale, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hartlepool United are currently on a five-game losing streak in League Two, but they could record their third consecutive win across all competitions with victory over Rochdale on Wednesday evening.

The visitors have drawn their last four matches in League Two, which has left Robbie Stockdale's side 13th in the table, only one point ahead of 17th-placed Hartlepool.

Match preview

Graeme Lee will take charge of his first League Two match with Hartlepool on Wednesday, after taking over from caretaker boss Anthony Sweeney, who oversaw the side when Dave Challinor departed the club in October.

Hartlepool ensured their name was in the hat for round three of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over League One outfit Lincoln last time out, thanks to an own goal from Lewis Fiorini.

That victory followed another win against a tier three side, having beaten Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 at Hillsborough on the first day of this month.

However, Hartlepool's league form is still in need of improvement as they have not earned three points from a match since October 23, but they will be glad to be at Victoria Park on Wednesday with their home record considerably better than their away points return.

The side have conceded 30 goals in 19 matches so far, the joint-second worst record in the division, and they have not kept a league clean sheet in their last 11 outings, which bodes well for Rochdale, who have been better on the road this campaign.

Rochdale have returned two more points on their travels in one less fixture than they have done so at home, and they are unbeaten in their last four away matches in League Two.

Stockdale's side were knocked out of the FA Cup on Sunday, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against fourth-placed League One side Plymouth, despite creating as many chances as their visitors.

Last time out in the league, Rochdale played out a 1-1 draw with Exeter, who did take the lead in that game but Max Taylor equalised 10 minutes later to rescue a point for the home side.

The Dales have fallen six points behind Harrogate Town, who currently occupy the final playoff spot, and Stockdale will only feel that their recent draws have been points missed in their chance to put pressure on the top seven.

These two teams have already faced each other once before this season in the EFL Trophy group stages just under one month ago, when Rochdale came out on top with a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Matty Gillam.

Hartlepool United League Two form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Hartlepool United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Rochdale League Two form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Rochdale form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

Team News

Right wing-back Jamie Sterry will be available to Hartlepool for selection again after serving his suspension having been shown a red card against Forest Green last month.

David Ferguson, Mark Cullen and Tyler Burey have each scored three goals in League Two for Hartlepool this season, but they will need to add to their goal tally to help the team collect three points on Wednesday.

Rochdale's Jimmy Keohane was replaced after 36 minutes against Stevenage towards the end of November and he has not featured in a matchday squad since, which limits the Dale's creativity from the left wing.

The visitors will line up in their favoured 3-4-3 formation, with Taylor, Eoghan O'Connell and Jeriel Dorsett making up the defensive trio in front of goalkeeper Jay Lynch.

Aaron Morley has been joined by Liam Kelly in the middle of the pitch during the last dozen games, and the latter provides Championship and League One experience in the heart of Rochdale's team.

Hartlepool United possible starting lineup:
Killip; Ferguson, Odusina, Liddle, Byrne, Sterry; Daly, Featherstone, Shelton; Cullen, Molyneux

Rochdale possible starting lineup:
Lynch; Dorsett, O'Connell, Taylor; Odoh, Kelly, Morley, O'Keeffe; Grant, Andrews, Beesley

SM words green background

We say: Hartlepool United 1-1 Rochdale

Hartlepool have a good opportunity to break their losing streak in League Two after a couple of really positive results in cup competitions against higher-tier opposition.

Rochdale are in a run of form picking up multiple draws, and it is likely that they will earn another single point on Wednesday having not won in the division since the end of October.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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