Rochdale will have a tough task in store when Portsmouth visit the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday.
Keith Hill’s side welcome the League One highflyers to Greater Manchester looking to put last weekend’s heavy defeat to Sunderland behind them.
Pompey are of course undefeated in the division so far this term but sit a point behind leaders Peterborough United, a team who have already left Spotland with a handsome victory to their name earlier this season.
But since that loss to The Posh, and before the humbling by Sunderland, Hill’s men went on a four-game unbeaten run and recovered their home form by convincingly beating Bury and Gillingham in successive Spotland outings.
And Dale would probably be happy with a repeat result of either of their last two encounters with Pompey on home turf, whether that’s the 3-3 draw from last season or a superb 3-0 win in League Two just short of five years ago.
However, the South Coast side are in good hands in those of Kenny Jackett, who is an experienced operator in England’s third tier, having overseen successful promotion campaigns to the Championship with both Milwall and Wolverhampton Wanderers from this division.
His side are fresh from a disappointing draw at home to Wycombe last weekend but were winners at Peterborough the previous weekend in their last away game, those outings the two most recent of eight matches without defeat.
The visitors will be expecting to leave with all three points after underwhelming results on their last two trips to Greater Manchester and although the visit before then brought a victory, that was way back in 1979, these sides having met just eight times in their respective histories.
The bookies will reflect Portsmouth’s intentions this weekend with the travelling team 8/5 favourites, while Hill’s charges are priced at 11/6 for the win. The draw is available at 5/2, with all odds via Oddschecker.
It’s another difficult test for Dale but if they can avoid the porous ten-minute spell they suffered at the Stadium of Light last weekend, they can be confident of running Portsmouth close at the very least, with the chance of irking out a draw or snatching a win certainly not out of the question.