Rovers kick off 2019 at home when they face Rochdale in Sky Bet League One on New Year’s Day.
Rovers will be looking to build on their good form, with just one defeat in their last nine games, winning 3-1 away at Gillingham last time out.
Rochdale on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from a heavy home defeat as they lost 4-0 to Bradford City on Saturday.
Brief history of Rochdale AFC
Rochdale play at the 10,429-capacity Crown Oil Arena, otherwise known as Spotland.
Rochdale have been in League One since 2014 having won promotion from the fourth division in third place during the 2013/14 season. Their previous stint in the EFL’s bottom tier saw them play 36 consecutive seasons in the same division, with their promotion from League Two in 2010 their first for 41 years, as well as just the Dale’s second promotion in the club’s history.
They reached the final of the League Cup back in 1962, where they became the first fourth division team in history to reach the final. They lost 4-0 over two legs to Norwich City, beating Rovers 4-0 in the second round of that season’s competition.
Who’s the gaffer?
Keith Hill is the man in charge at the Crown Oil Arena, currently in his second stint as manager following his return in January 2013. Hill spent time as a player at Spotland between 1996 and 2001, making over 150 league appearances for the Dale.
His first spell in charge of the Dale came between 2006 and 2011, leading them to their first promotion in over 40 years from League Two, before making the switch to South Yorkshire to take the helm at Barnsley. He returned to Spotland in 2013 and the year after saw him lead Dale to another promotion from the fourth tier, once again from third place in League Two.
Across his two spells in charge of Rochdale, Hill has overseen 559 games, winning 234, drawing 140 and losing 185, leaving him with a total win percentage of 41.86 per cent.
Ones to watch
The experienced forward is in his seventh season at Spotland and he has gone on to become a real fan favourite amongst Dale fans. Henderson began his career with Norwich City, spending five years at Carrow Road, with a brief stint at Rotherham United in 2007 on-loan from the Canaries. Spells at Northampton Town and Luton Town followed, before a move to Turkey in 2009, where he spent six months with Ankaragücü. He returned to England with Colchester United, scoring 26 goals in 130 appearances for the Essex-based side. A move to Rochdale in 2013 saw him help his current side to reach League One in his second season at the club, before scoring 22 goals in League One the season after, and he has helped Dale to establish themselves in the third tier in recent years.
The midfield man is in his third stint with Dale after re-signing back in the summer of 2017 on a two-year deal. After spells with Wrexham and Hereford United, Done signed for Dale for the first time in the summer of 2010 following their promotion to League One, making his debut against what would be his next club, Barnsley. After a season with the Tykes, Done returned to Spotland, hitting double figures in League One during the first half of the 2014/15 season. Two-and-a-half seasons with Sheffield United followed, in which he helped the Blades to the League One title in 2017, before his latest switch back across the Pennines, scoring eight goals in 57 appearances last term for Dale.
The Northern Irish youth international has been a successful graduate of the Rochdale youth academy, and he has gone on to make over 150 appearances for Dale. He made his debut at Spotland whilst still a scholar towards the end of the 2012/13 season against Port Vale, replacing Ashley Grimes for the final 22 minutes. Camps has gone on to captain Dale on a number of occasions and was called up the Northern Ireland under-21 squad in October 2015, making one appearance for the side.
Who’s the ref?
Martin Coy will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on New Year’s Day. Coy has overseen 22 games in league and cup competition so far this season, showing 56 yellow cards and two red cards.
He last took charge of Rovers in September, being the man in the middle for the 2-1 home win over Bradford City, whilst his last game in control of Rochdale came the week before that in their 3-0 home win over Gillingham.
Coy will be joined by assistant referees Matthew Parry and David Plowright, with Declan Ford being named as the fourth official.
Last time out
Rovers came out on top when the two sides met at Spotland back in October. Ali Crawford and Andy Butler scored either side of the break to give Rovers a 2-0 lead, before Ian Henderson pulled one back from the spot for Dale. Jermaine Anderson then regained Rovers two-goal advantage with a finish from close range, before Kgosi Ntlhe scored to ensure a nervy finish to the game for Rovers.