The Carling Cup will forever live in Rovers' fans minds as a mix of delight, what if's and almost. No-one will need reminding that back in December, Rovers were two minutes away from the semi-finals, only to have their dreams dashed by Gilberto's injury time equaliser for Arsenal.
However, all that is in the past and Rovers start all over again with the first round.
Many fans thought that Rovers success in the cups last season led to an unsuccesfull league spell. Some think that going out early might not be a bad thing, whereas others see it as a lucrative competition. Either way, its a good chance to play some squad players, all of whom are capable of winning the game, but it wont be the end of the world should they loose.
Gareth Roberts certainly wont feature,as he is still suspended. Young Antony Griffith will also miss the game with a knee injury, Bruce Dyer is out with a groin strain, and co-striker Paul Heffernan will also be missing through injury.
Dave Penney has suggested that Lewis Guy will start upfront alongside Mark McCammon. Craig Nelthorpe could be added to the squad. Graeme Lee may be rested, having picked up a knock last week.
Rochdale, who have yet to score a goal this season, will be without on loan midfielder Darrell Clarke after Hartlepool refused permission for him to play. Former Rover John Doolan will be in the Rochdale squad.
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