Match Preview: v Rochdale (A) Match Preview: v Rochdale (A)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Preview: v Rochdale (A)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Rochdale.
Don't forget to join us across our social media channels where we'll bring you all the matchday build-up, in-game updates, and post-match reaction as the Saddlers return to action against bottom-of-the-table Rochdale.


Looking for what will be just their second win in some seventeen league games, the Saddlers arrive at Good Friday's match on the back of a one-all draw with Sutton United and a result which saw the Reds register their seventeenth draw of the season.

Although Isaac Hutchinson's late, late goal sent the stadium into raptures, the team's overall performance was simply unacceptable, especially given so many of them are meant to be playing for their futures in the game, let alone at the club.

As we continue to edge closer to the end of the 2022/23 campaign, we're left with a huge sense of disappointment over what the team could have achieved if a few things went their way.

Retain the services of the likes of Liam Bennett and Danny Johnson, the latter netting some fifteen goals in thirty-games, and who knows where the Saddlers would be sitting heading into their fortieth game of the league campaign.

Whatever the result this weekend, it's clear the powers that be have to take a long hard look at how they go into the new campaign.

Act quickly to add the right players to the team, and there is no reason that the team can't go on to achieve promotion to the third tier, but just the slightest dither and delay, which took place in January and saw the team scrambling until the dying stages of Deadline Day to secure a strikeforce, and we may end up shopping in the bargain basement once again.

Whilst the gaffer couldn't have foreseen his signings going through such a dry spell in terms of goals, but a more decisive transfer window could have seen the team set and settled before Big Ben tolled to signal the end of January's window.

Clearly, there is plenty of football to be played before Flynn has to consider how his team will look in 2023/24, at the moment we can only hope he and his side will be able to bounce back from what has been a disastrous 2022/23 campaign.


Rochdale currently sit at the foot of the League Two table, with the Greater Manchester outfit winning just seven of their previous thirty-nine outings.

Despite their overall points, Dale have shown signs of life over recent weeks, with their most recent outing seeing them secure three points at the expense of AFC Wimbledon, a result which saw them knock a few points off the gap between themselves and safety.

There is no doubt that our hosts will pose a major threat on Friday afternoon as they hope to keep their hopes of achieving a great escape alive.


Here is how the Saddlers and their opponents Rochdale have fared in their last five Sky Bet League Two games.



Walsall and Rochdale have met on sixty-eight previous occasions, and it's the Saddlers who are on the back foot having secured just twenty-four victories compared to Rochdale's twenty-seven.

There have also been seventeen draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began on Saturday, 24th December 1921, and saw the Dale ease to a more than comfortable seven-nil Division Three (North) win.


The most recent meeting between the Saddlers and Rochdale was a League Two meeting that took place in front of 5,050 fans at Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday, 29th October 2022 and saw Hayden White's first goal of the season separate the sides.


The EFL has confirmed that Andy Haines, who is based in Tyne and Wear, will be the man in the middle, whilst Simon Clayton and Richard Wigglesworth have been named assistant referees. Mark Jones will act as Fourth Official.



If you're not planning on going to the game you can catch the match via the club's in-house service - iFollow Walsall - which takes you through the highs and lows of every Saddlers game.

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