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FIVE THINGS | ROCHDALE (HOME)

7 December 2017

Stuart McCall's Bantams welcome Rochdale to the Northern Commercials Stadium this Saturday (9 December 2017) for their latest Sky Bet League One fixture.

Ahead of the match, let's take a look at five possible talking points going into the weekend...

1. Back to league action
After matches in the Emirates FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, McCall's men return to action in League One this Saturday with their first league fixture of December. The game will also be City's final home match before Christmas Day. The Bantams' previous league match ended in a hard-fought 1-0 victory at high-flying Shrewsbury Town. Can City pick up where they left off in the league when Rochdale arrive in BD8 this weekend?

2. Recent Saturday form
The Bantams' Emirates FA Cup victory over Plymouth Argyle last weekend meant City have now collected the win in each of their last three Saturday games since their previous home league match against the Pilgrims. Along with the Plymouth FA Cup success, City have also picked up league victories at Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury in recent weekends. The league defeat to Plymouth is actually City's only loss in their last six Saturday fixtures since the defeat to Charlton Athletic back in October. The Plymouth FA Cup win not only maintained City's impressive recent Saturday form, it also got the Bantams back to winning ways on home soil after some frustrating results at the Northern Commercials Stadium in the last few weeks. Can City build their Saturday successes with another win over Rochdale at the weekend?

3. Club links
A number of notable players have played for both Rochdale and City down the years. Players such as Rory McArdle, Gary Jones, Stephen Darby and Simon Ramsden remain hugely popular with the supporters of both clubs, while the likes of Will Atkinson, Ben Muirhead and Jason Kennedy have also enjoyed profitable spells with the two clubs. There is likely to be one former Bantam in Rochdale's squad this weekend. Striker Steven Davies is currently with Dale after spending the 2015/2016 season with the Bantams.

4. Roses encounter
This Saturday's match will be another Yorkshire/Lancashire clash for City supporters to look forward to. With only 31 miles separating Rochdale's Crown Oil Arena and the Northern Commercials Stadium, Saturday's opponents - along with Oldham Athletic - are actually City's nearest neighbours in Sky Bet League One this season. There is usually a good crowd in the stadium for roses matches, and plenty of goals as well. There have been as many as 17 goals scored in the last four City-Rochdale games at Valley Parade, so we could be in for an entertaining occasion come Saturday.

5. Late birthday present for Wyke?
City's influential number nine celebrated his 25th birthday this Wednesday. Wyke's close range effort against Plymouth Argyle in his last outing last weekend brought the striker up to nine goals for the season - not bad for a forward who arguably wasn't fully match-fit for the first two months of the campaign after missing most of pre-season through injury. Can Wyke make it to double figures before the halfway point of the season by netting against Rochdale for the perfect late birthday present?


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