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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Dale's goalscoring class set to tell in cup clash at Slough

Non-league hosts' should go on attack in pursuit of shock

Ian Henderson is a threat for Rochdale
1 of 1

FA Cup second round
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Monday

Slough Town are through to the FA Cup second round for the first time since 2004 but are likely to bow out of the competition when hosting Sky Bet League One strugglers Rochdale at Arbour Park.

The clubs are divided by four steps on the football pyramid and Dale are red-hot favourites to progress.

Rochdale advanced to the last 16 of the Football League Trophy with a penalty shootout success at home Doncaster last Tuesday.

After the game Rochdale manager Keith Hill spoke of the financial importance of decent cup runs and is preparing to name a full-strength side to take on Slough, who are sixth in the Southern Premier.

Slough are probably a fair bit better than their league position suggests.

The Rebels have played fewer games than all of their divisional rivals and have five games in hand on leaders King's Lynn, who are ten points above them.

They are the top scorers in their league with 48 goals from 16 matches and showed off their attacking talent with a 6-0 win at National League North side Gainsborough in the FA Cup first round.

That they won so convincingly against a team from the level above should send a warning to Rochdale not to take them lightly.

Four players in the Slough squad are on double-figure goal tallies for the season – midfielder James Dobson (15), winger Matt Lench (11) and strikers Chris Flood (13) and Manny Williams (10).

But there are doubts over the fitness of Flood and Williams, who have been carrying niggles.

Despite those doubts it is fair to assume that Slough's strength is in attack and their chances of exposing Rochdale are increased by a suspension for Dale centre-back Jim McNulty.

Slough may get on the scoresheet but are going to have their hands full in defence.

Rochdale have a reputation as one of the better passing teams in the third tier and have scored in each of their last ten games.

They can make their extra class count and should emerge victorious from a high-scoring contest.

Rochdale win and both teams to score
1pt 21-10 Betfred

Bet on this match at

Team news
Chris Flood (hamstring) and Alan Inns (thigh) are doubts. Gavin James (hamstring) is out and Harrison Gilkes is a long-term absentee.

Jim McNulty serves a one-match ban. Matt Done is a doubt after picking up an injury in the 2-0 win at home to Peterborough nine days ago. Kgose Ntlhe (head) is a doubt and Keith Keane is out long-term.

Key stat
Rochdale have lost three of their last 16 matches.

Probable teams
Slough (4-4-2)
Turner; Smart, Nisbet, Hollis, Wells; Harris, Togwell, Dobson, Lench; Flood, Williams.
Subs: Scott, Fraser, Jackman, Dunn, Webb, Inns, Wadkins..

Rochdale (3-4-1-2)
Lillis; McGahey, Daniels, Kitching; Rafferty, Rathbone, Camps, Bunney; Henderson; Andrew, Slew.
Subs: Done, Gillam, Ntlhe, Davies, Adshead, Cannon, Jordan Williams.

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Slough are probably a fair bit better than their league position suggests
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