Gillingham vs Rochdale preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Gillingham beat Rochdale 4-1 as recently as December - they will be hoping for more of the same on Saturday | Photo by Joe Prior - Visionhaus via Getty Images

Gillingham will be looking to record back-to-back wins in League One on Saturday when they host Rochdale.

Steve Evans’ side take on a Dale outfit that have seen 21 goals at either end in their last four matches, and could move to within four points of the play-offs with a win.

Here is our preview of the fixture.

Team news

Gillingham could be without captain Kyle Dempsey and fellow midfielder Oliver Lee after the duo picked up knocks in the Gills' last game.

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Stuart O’Keefe is edging ever closer to full fitness after breaking his leg in September. He returned as a 94th minute at Accrington Stanley last weekend, and was on the bench in the previous game too.

Jacob Mellis is being assessed on a game-by-game basis before requiring surgery to fix an ongoing knee injury in the summer.

Dominic Samuel remains absent with a hamstring issue. Henry Woods is yet to resume full training after a knee issue, whilst Chris Maghoma remains a doubt.

Defender Gabriel Osho could make his Dale debut after joining on loan from Luton Town in the week. Jake Beesley, however, is a doubt after requiring stitching on an ankle gash sustained at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday.

Predicted lineups

Gillingham (potential 4-2-3-1): Bonham - Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor - Slattery, Dempsey - Graham, Lee, MacDonald - Oliver.

Rochdale (potential 4-4-2): Bazunu - McLaughlin, McNulty, Roberts, Keohane - Dooley, Morley, Rathbone, Baah - Lund, Humphreys.

Form guide

After three consecutive defeats, Gillingham picked up a 1-0 win at high-flying Accrington Stanley last Saturday thanks to an impressive Kyle Dempsey strike. The Gills had previously lost five of their last six, and will be hoping the result in Lancashire can now help them kick on.

Steve Evans’ side sit 13th in the League One table, seven points off the play-off spots.

Rochdale are yet to win this calendar year, drawing three and losing one of their four games.

There are usually plenty of goals in Dale’s matches. Their three draws were 3-3, 4-4 and 3-3 against Crewe Alexandra, Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic before a 1-0 defeat at Doncaster on Tuesday.

Rochdale currently sit 18th in League One, one point above the drop zone.

Ones to watch

Jordan Graham remains the one to watch for Gillingham. The former Wolves man is the lynchpin of the Gills side, and looks threatening every time he gets on the ball, regularly looking to take on his fullback.

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The 25-year-old has five goals and three assists in League One this season, and will fancy his chances of building on those stats on Saturday.

Forward Stephen Humphreys is one to keep an eye on for Dale. After joining from Southend United in the summer, the 23-year-old has six goals and two assists to his name from 12 League One appearances.

Alongside Matty Lund, Humphreys will pose a real threat from up top, and Gillingham’s defenders will have to be more than alert to keep their clean sheet in tact on Saturday.

Previous meetings

The two teams last met as recently as December 19 2020, when Gillingham ran out resounding 4-1 winners. Last year’s equivalent was also won by the Gills, with Connor Ogilvie scoring a later winner in a 1-0 win.

In total, the sides have met 51 times in their histories, with Gillingham winning 17 ties compared to Rochdale’s 16. There have also been 18 draws between the two.

How to watch

The game has not been selected for TV coverage in the UK, but an iFollow pass can be purchased for £10 via either club’s website to stream the game live.

Kick-off is scheduled for 15:00 GMT.

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