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Let's hope this derby does not go the way of the last one. With the two Macs back, we should be strong enough to see off the Latics - if we play our usual high tempo pressing game. It looks like Ollie will be missing, but I'd be happy to see a midfield of McCullough, Jennings, Cole and Gilmour.
Think it will do banks good in a strange about way he has been poor the last few weeks . If others come in and play well and then he has a fight to get back in . Like Stockton he will find it hard to get back in with Mullin scoring 4 in 6 and the gun slinger Norwood 7 in 7 Cole won't be starting enemy time soon. It will be a great atmosphere on Saturday hope Oldham sell all there tickets . And we get a fair amount to . Come on boys. If we win and other scores go are way we could be in 3rd on sat night
I’ve always been a big fan of Sutton and feel a bit sorry for him if left out. I wasn’t at the first oxford game or Crewe but the defence conceded 6 in those 2 games. I’m not saying drop Big Mac but if we look dodgy at the back against an average Oldham side then questions will need to be asked
We have been weaker defensively away from home this season, but that is down to the whole team not just the centre backs. The calls to drop Banks and McNulty are misguided in my view; two hugely influential players for us, and our midfield is nothing like as good without Ollie.
Oldham are probably the only genuine rivals we have in this division, and I would guess this is the match Rovers fans would not want to lose above all others. As Mart says, Oldham have a decent squad with Surridge up front and a lot of experience in players like Clarke, Baxter, Gardner and O'Grady. They went off the boil for a few weeks but have since picked up some good results, and this will be a tough game.
I would guess McNulty, McCullough and Banks (if fit) will all start, and I would be tempted to stick with the 442 and our two in-form strikers. However, I also would not be surprised if Zoum was rested and Adam Buxton came back in at left back, given that Bakayogo has already had a hamstring injury this season and three games in a week might be too much for him.
Prediction: draw or narrow Rovers victory watched by 6,500 - 7,000, with 1,200 from Oldham.
Banks nearly scored in the opening minute and set up Mullin’s goal on Saturday. I agree he can sometimes be too ambitious rather than sticking to simple passes, but that ability to deliver the unexpected makes him a valuable player for us. It would be a surprise if he’s not picked when available. Stockton’s situation was different, he was selected because of the type of forward he was more than necessarily being a better player than Mullin. It doesn’t sound like he’s ready for a recall yet, even though there are fitness doubts for Norwood.
I didn’t think the central defenders did that badly at Crewe, though Zoum was given a hard time by their young winger. Sutton can count himself a bit unlucky that Monthe has generally done well in the central defensive role, but would expect McNulty to return. Buxton’s partner is expecting, so maybe Ridehalgh comes back into the equation if Zoum’s hamstrings are deemed troublesome.
I will be missing this and Southport, but would expect the best crowd to date. Think we should get something out of a tight game, but would like to see the line-up before calling the result.