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Thirty years ago today, Rochdale beat us 1-0 at Turf Moor in the game reported today as part of the Burnley are Back feature.

Since that game, we played them at Spotland in the last ever Fourth Division game, a game we won 3-1, and the only time the two teams have met since competitively was our 4-1 FA Cup victory against them in 1993, almost 28 years ago, a game that was somewhat feisty and ended with three players receiving red cards.

Things have improved at Burnley since those days and Rochdale have also had spells outside the basement division and only dropped back in at the end of last season.

They have started well this season and are only outside the play-off positions on goal difference having won three, drawn three and lost two of their opening eight league games. Both of those defeats came in the first three games, since they have won 11 points from five games, as many as any team in the league. Their most recent game at Mansfield ended in a 1-1 draw.

Like us, they entered the League Cup in the second round this season. That’s not strictly true but they were given a walk over in the first round having been drawn away against Harrogate who had to withdraw from the competition.

While we went to Newcastle in the last round, and won on penalties, Rochdale won 2-0 at Steve Cotterill’s Shrewsbury after the home side had been reduced to ten men. Jake Beesley gave Rochdale the lead from the resulting penalty with Danny Cashman adding a second for Robbie Stockdale’s team.

Rochdale will be wearing their centenary black and white stripes tonight, a strange one given the club was formed in 1907. Apparently, they are repeating that this year given it is 100 years since they joined the Football League.

Burnley will be wearing the claret and blue home kit but will be advertising Alzheimer’s Society on what is World Alzheimer’s Day. It will hopefully raise a substantial amount for Alzheimer’s Society and is a decision that I, personally, and this site fully support.

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Sean Dyche has confirmed he will select a team that can win the tie but there are likely to be numerous changes to the team that started against Arsenal three days ago. I’d certainly expect Wayne Hennessey, Phil Bardsley, Nathan Collins, Erik Pieters, Aaron Lennon, Jack Cork, Jay Rodriguez and Matěj Vydra to start in a much different looking team.

Pieters is definitely keen to get back onto the pitch. Speaking yesterday, he said: ““Throughout the squad, the players, including me, that are not playing in the league at this moment are looking at this game. I think it’s really good at this moment for us to show the gaffer where we’re up to and how our fitness level is and that we can be of value to the team as well. Either way, I think it’s a really good thing to have a cup game in between the Premier League for us to get our fitness levels up and get games in as well for a winning streak.”

He added: “I think you have to be selfish sometimes, because if you say to yourself you’re fine and I’m ok in this position, I don’t think you’ll be happy, I’m not happy because I want to play. I always want to play in my career and for as long as possible because I’m ready, I’m healthy and fit and I’m feeling really well, but with new players coming in, you have to help them, especially with Maxwel coming in and speaking French. That will help us all to coach and talk with him. You need to help each other. At the end of the day, we’re here all together and we have to make sure we get the best results and if I need to help Charlie for example do bits and pieces, I will help Charlie. It’s not Charlie’s choice to play, it’s the gaffer’s choice so you have to accept it and help each other.”

Rochdale are likely to field a strong team and their line up at Mansfield was: Joel Coleman, Max Taylor, Eoghan O’Connell, Jeriel Dorsett, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Stephen Dooley, Matt Done, Alex Newby, Jake Beesley, Danny Cashman. Subs: Jay Lynch, Aidan White, Jimmy McNulty, George Broadbent, Abraham Odoh, Josh Andrews, Liam Kelly.

 

LAST TIME IN THE LEAGUE CUP

 

We’ve met twice previously in the League Cup with both teams winning one of them. Both were in the 1980s, two years apart, during the time we were both in the Fourth Division.

The first of them came in the season that ended with the infamous Orient game. We drew the first leg 1-1 at Spotland with Leighton James giving us the lead early in the game with Rochdale equalising on 75 minutes.

James scored from the penalty spot at home in the second leg but by then Rochdale had scored twice and went on to win 3-1 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate.

That was in the first round, as was the next meeting two seasons later. Again, the first leg was at Spotland. We three times led in that game with goals from Brendan O’Connell, Paul Comstive (pen) and George Oghani but allowed them to equalise each time.

It was Burnley who went through this time. O’Connell scored twice in a 2-1 home win to see us through 5-4 on aggregate.

The Burnley teams for those games were

1986/87

Away: Joe Neenan, Phil Malley, Peter Hampton, Billy Rodaway, Joe Gallagher, Ray Deakin, Ian Britton, Derrick Parker, Wayne Entwistle, Leighton James, Ashley Hoskin.

Home: Neil Grewcock replaced Wayne Entwistle from the first leg, with Entwistle coming on as a substitute for Ian Britton.

1988/99

Away: Chris Pearce, Peter Daniel, Ray Deakin, Andy Farrell, Steve Davis, Steve Gardner, Ian Britton, George Oghani, Brendan O’Connell, Paul Comstive, Leighton James.

Home: Paul Atkinson replaced Leighton James from the first leg.

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