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Can Latics topple leaders?

9 November 2012

Big crowd expected for Tranmere visit

Latics have a mouth-watering npower League One fixture tomorrow as leaders Tranmere Rovers visit Boundary Park.

The Wirral club has been the surprise package eclipsing the likes of Sheffield United and Milton Keynes Dons.

And Latics' manager Paul Dickov believes Tranmere are on top on merit.

Dickov travelled to Hartlepool in midweek to see Tranmere record a 2-0 victory to reclaim top spot.

He said: "They are playing with a lot of confidence as you would expect from a team at the top of the table.

"Ronnie Moore has then playing good football and, to his credit, he has brought in some really good players. They try to play the right way are are at the top on merit.

"They play with a lot of freedom and confidence. They try and pass and, when the goalkeeper gets the ball, they try and play from the back."

Latics' manager is confident of a positive reaction after Tuesday's disappointing home derby defeat by Bury.

Dickov said: "I am really looking forward to the game because we are at our best when we play teams who play attacking football against us.

"As I keep saying when we are at it, both with and without the ball, we can beat anybody in the division.

"We need to start the game on the front foot and, if we do, I expect us to win the game." 

Tranmere have had a remarkable start to the season losing only two of their 16 league games.

They have also been kings of the road losing only once - at Bournemouth - in eight away league matches.

You have to sit up and take notice after triumphs at the likes of Carlisle, Crawley by a 5-2 scoreline, Scunthorpe, Notts County and Hartlepool.

They are also scoring for fun having already found the net 34 times in the league.

Tranmere also have three of League One's leading marksmen.

Jake Cassidy, who is on loan from Wolves, has found the net 10 times while Andy Robinson has eight and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro seven.

Robinson will be absent tomorrow as he picked up a fifth booking at Hartlepool which has earned a one-match ban while Akpa Akpro has been missing for a month through injury.

Though Robinson and Akpa Akpro will both be missing, Tranmere still have plenty of firepower.

Cassidy was partnered at Hartlepool by Jake Jervis, a striker loaned from Birmingham City.

"The front two were a handful at Hartlepool while Andy Robinson and Adam McGurk a threat out wide."

Tranmere will also be without forward Abdulai Bell-Baggie who picked up a knock in midweek.

* Latics remind home fans that tomorrow they are only able to use the Main Stand and Chaddy End.

Season-ticket holders from the Rochdale Road Stand must relocate. They can gain entry at the turnstiles to the Chaddy End and Main Stand Lower.

However, to gain access to Main Stand Upper they need to go to the ticket office.

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