Rochdale V Gillingham at Spotland Stadium - Match Preview

Rafferty boost for Dale

Rochdale have defender Joe Rafferty back in contention for the npower League Two visit of Gillingham.

Rafferty missed Dale's 2-1 defeat to Dagenham last weekend having been sent off in the 1-0 home reverse against AFC Wimbledon seven says earlier.

John Coleman's squad is lighter on numbers after midfield duo Ray Putterill and Ian Craney were released by the club this week.

Dale's first-team squad did their bit in trying to ensure the Spotland playing surface comes through the cold snap on Thursday, making their way to the ground after training to shovel snow off the pitch.

Ground staff worked through the night with a pitch inspection expected on Friday.

Coleman finds himself under pressure from sections of the Rochdale support having presided over three consecutive defeats and eight losses in the previous 10 outings.

Gillingham boast a full-strength squad as they look to reclaim top spot in League Two.

The Gills lost their top-of-the-table showdown with Port Vale last weekend and duly saw their promotion rivals leapfrog them at the summit.

The Kent outfit will now be desperate to get back on track against a Dale side who have lost their last three league games.

Manager Martin Allen has favoured rotation in order to keep his Gills side fresh this term and that means the likes of Charlie Lee, Charlie Allen and Steven Gregory could well be promoted from the bench.

Young left-back Sam Muggleton has been added to Gillingham's travelling party for the clash at Spotland.

Source: PA

Source: PA