Bury v Rochdale: Dale to go top with win over Shakers

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Local rivals Bury and Rochdale face off in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the JD Stadium tonight but despite the hosts being in decent form it is the visitors who look best placed to pick up three points.

The Shakers are unbeaten in eight matches in front of their own fans but lost last time out and will have to be at the top of their game to beat a Dale outfit that has won four and drawn one of their last five.

Keith Hill’s men are also a solid unit on the road, losing just one of their last eight away from Spotland, and with striker Scott Hogan in fine fettle Hill will be backing his men to go top of League Two with a win.

The betting can’t separate the two sides, with both priced at 13/8 to take maximum points, and those struggling to pick a winner could be tempted on the 23/10 available on a share of the spoils.

However, with the Dale losing just one and winning four of the last six meetings with the Shakers – including a 1-0 victory earlier this season – the advice is to go with the away side.

Despite 14 places separating the two sides there is little between them on current form and therefore a cagey encounter can be anticipated.

As such, the 4/6 on under 2.5 goals looks a tempting price, especially with the average number achieved over the last 12 meetings standing at 2.38.

Further encouragement comes from the fact that Bury have seen fewer than three goals in five of their last seven games, while Dale have not gone over that line in two of their last three.

Any goals scored though, are likely to come from the boots of Dale’s Hogan who bagged a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Oxford last time out.

As such, the 3/1 on a Dale win with Hogan on the scoresheet looks the bet of the night, while the 5/1 on the 21-year-old to open the scoring also tempts.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.