League Two Preview: Dale eye top spot against Bury

Rochdale could go top of League Two, if only for a few hours, if they beat Bury in Friday night's opening game of the League Two weekend.

Bury's recent form has pulled them six points clear of the relegation zone, but Rochdale head into the derby clash on the back of an impressive 3-0 win at home to Oxford United last weekend.

Scott Hogan's hat-trick took him to 19 goals for the season in all competitions and saw Rochdale close on Scunthorpe United and Chesterfield above them.

The crunch game of the weekend comes at the Kassam Stadium when managerless Oxford United hope to climb above fourth-placed Burton Albion.

Caretaker manager Mickey Lewis has learnt this week that he remains in the frame for the permanent position as Oxford chairman Ian Lenagan continues to sift through applications for the post.

Last Saturday's 3-0 loss to Rochdale leaves Oxford five points behind the automatic places in fifth position. Burton, meanwhile, come in to the game buoyed by a first win in five games, the 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley, which included a double strike from top scorer Billy Kee.

Leaders Chesterfield travel to struggling Accrington needing a win after the disappointing goalless draw at home to Portsmouth on Monday night. Accrington need the points for very different reasons after last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Burton left them only four points above the drop zone.

Another goalless draw in midweek that did little to benefit either side was at Rodney Parade where play-off chasing Newport County gained only a point against Fleetwood Town.

Goal-shy Fleetwood have seen their automatic promotion hopes fade having failed to score in their last four league games. The Lancashire club hope to rectify that away at bottom-placed Torquay United and register what would be only their second win since January.

Second-placed Scunthorpe entertain Northampton Town in another top-versus-bottom fixture. Russ Wilcox's promotion chasers were stung by a late leveller at Newport last weekend, but will be looking to maintain their 18-match unbeaten run against 23rd-placed Northampton, who have enjoyed a recent resurgence under new boss Chris Wilder.

Other fixtures on Saturday include AFC Wimbledon entertaining in-form York City, Bristol Rovers host John Sheridan's play-off-chasing Plymouth, Portsmouth welcome Cheltenham Town to Fratton Park, while ninth-placed Hartlepool United hope to gain on the play-off places when they visit Wycombe Wanderers.

Elsewhere, Exeter City host Dagenham and Redbridge, Mansfield Town welcome Newport and Morecambe entertain fellow seasiders Southend United.


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