Rochdale v Southend preview

Team news for Wednesday's League Two clash between Rochdale and Southend at Spotland Stadium.

Last Updated: 15/04/13 at 16:22

Chris Barker: Expected to start

Chris Barker: Expected to start

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Rochdale have no new injury worries as they look to record three consecutive wins for the first time this season against Southend.

Dale are unbeaten in four matches and face the Johnstone's Paint trophy finalists following back-to-back away victories over play-off hopefuls Exeter and Fleetwood.

Joe Rafferty is expected to retain his place in defence having replaced Kevin McIntyre at half-time before a 1-0 deficit was turned around against Exeter.

Ex-Shrewsbury forward Terry Gornell is back from a groin injury, but will probably have to settle for a place alongside McIntyre among the substitutes after George Donnelly scored his fifth goal in seven matches at Fleetwood.

Midfielder Ritchie Jones remains a major doubt having been sidelined for the past month with an ankle problem, while Andrew Tutte, Rhys Bennett (both knee) and Reece Gray (broken leg) are both long-term absentees.

Southend welcome back Marc Laird and Mickey Spillane for the trip to Rochdale as they look to put their Johnstone's Paint Trophy disappointment behind them.

The midfield pair were both cup-tied for Sunday's 2-0 final defeat to Crewe at Wembley, but return to the fold at Spotland as the Shrimpers aim to finish the season with a flourish and gatecrash the play-off picture.

Captain Chris Barker made his first appearance for five weeks against the Alex having recovered from an Achilles injury and, despite being substituted after 57 minutes, is expected to be available.

Luke Prosser (hip/ribs) and Ben Reeves (calf) also passed fitness tests to be involved at Wembley and should again feature against Dale, but Michael Timlin (broken leg) and Neil Harris (knee) remain sidelined.

The Shrimpers, currently 12th in League Two, are six points adrift of the play-offs ahead of their game in hand.

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