Competition: FA Cup Fourth Round
Venue: Spotland Stadium – Monday, January 26 – 20:00
Match odds: Rochdale 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Stoke 4/6
Stoke City make a short trip to Rochdale in the FA Cup on Monday night in what promises to be an absolute cracker as Rochdale look to add to what has already been a weekend of shocks in the competition.
The League One side are chasing promotion and sit in fifth place in the third tier of English football going into the game, and have won their last three in all competitions, including a 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest in the last round of the FA Cup.
Rochdale’s home record in all competitions: Played 18 – Won 7 – Drawn 3 – Lost 8
Stoke are 39 places higher than Rochdale in English football and sit in tenth place in the Premier League. The Potters come into the game in good form having won four of their last six and saw off Wrexham in the third round earlier this month.
Both sides will face strong lineups, with Mark Hughes likely to give Jack Butland and Steve Sidwell a chance to impress. Ryan Shawcross and Jon Walters are doubtful but could make the trip.
Stoke have only lost one of their last four away games and that was at Arsenal so they will be confident of progressing to the next round, but will have to take the game seriously to ensure they don’t join the list of Premier League clubs who fell to lower opposition this weekend.
Stoke’s away record in all competitions: Played 13 – Won 5 – Drawn 3 – Lost 5
This will be the 10th meeting between the two sides, and the first in the FA Cup. Stoke have won five of the previous nine meetings with Rochdale winning two and there have been two draws.
The most recent meeting was in the League Cup eight years ago as Rochdale knocked the Potters out of the competition in the first round on penalties, after drawing 2-2 in extra-time.
Rochdale fans will be hoping for success this time around too and will take confidence from the performances of the Cambridge United, Bradford City, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Blackburn as they all held or beat top half Premier League sides this weekend.
Rochdale’s last five in all competitions: L/L/W/W/W
Stoke City’s last five in all competitions: W/D/W/L/W
Key Stat: Rochdale have only beaten a top flight team in the cup once from 13 attempts (Coventry in 1971)
Key Player: Bojan Krkic – The Stoke playmaker has been excellent since joining in the summer. He’s scored four goals and picked up one assist in 17 games. He will be a key factor is he plays.
Rochdale vs Stoke Prediction: Rochdale 1–2 Stoke City – The Potters to edge what should be a thrilling game.