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Three To Watch: The Rochdale players - including an ex-Sunderland man - looking to hurt us today

A former Sunderland centre back, a highly rated 17-year-old full-back and a consistent goalscorer are the three Rochdale players most likely to be a thorn in our side tonight.

Bolton Wanderers v Rochdale - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Ian Henderson

19/20 Games/Goals: 34/14

An experienced striker that has outscored the majority of his League One counterparts. Sound familiar? He’s a third tier equivalent of Jermain Defoe whilst at Sunderland.

It would be fair to say Henderson took time to really blossom, and only eight career goals meant he tried his hand abroad, moving to Ankaragücü in Turkey, before returning to UK shores by joining Colchester United in 2010. His form at Colchester gained him a move to Spotland where he became a hero almost instantly.

Now 35, he is Rochdale’s skipper and has now hit double figures for seven consecutive seasons.

Rochdale v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Paul McShane

19/20 Games/Goals: 12/0

Whilst he was laughably bad during his time at the Stadium of Light, the former Republic of Ireland international defender has been highly thought of at every other club he’s been at, with Rochdale the latest beneficiaries of the shaggy haired one.

As we all remember, he’s fully committed and tough in the tackle. At 34-years-old, he’s also hugely experienced and Dale fans have been delighted with his performances since he arrived on a free transfer back in October. We’ve been used to seeing wily, experienced gamesmanship from centre-backs in League One this season, and the challenge of McShane, the old fox, will be no different this evening.

Rochdale v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Luke Matheson

19/20 Games/Goals: 24/2

Just turned 17 and already considered a bargain at £1m? It’s been some season for the Rochdale right-back.

Although he’s no longer official property of Rochdale after being signed by high-flying Wolves in January, Matheson has been allowed to stay on with Dale until the end of the season, and fans of the Manchester club couldn’t be more delighted to see him stay and continue his huge rise at the club that nurtured him.

Very much in the mould of a modern day full-back, he’s got bags of pace, he’s sound defensively and, as Manchester United fans will tell you, he knows where the net is.

Manchester United v Rochdale AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

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