Oldham Athletic make the long trip down to Devon this weekend as City seek to extend the good run of form.
Ahead of the game Sam Moakes picks out three key men who will be looking to make a difference for the Latics.
It’s no secret how important Carl Piergianni is in the sides that he’s played for. His tenacity as a player is evident, having left English football after a century of appearances at Boston United to feature in the second division of Australian football, with South Melbourne. Despite this change, Piergianni returned to England to bolster an emerging Salford side, cementing himself as a key part of their promotion winning team of 2019.#
Since arriving for an undisclosed fee at Oldham, Piergianni has seemingly made a good impression, resulting in him being named captain last year. He’s also been a consistent performer this season, starting 14 of the club’s 15 games and being the only Oldham player with an average SofaScore of over seven.
Without a striker firing, Oldham have needed to call on others to contribute goals this season. Davis Keillor-Dunn has been one of those. Usually playing in behind the striker, Keillor-Dunn has scored three goals in the league so far –more than a quarter of the Latics’ goals – while also providing two assists.
In particular, the 24-year-old scored a brace in Oldham’s first league win since August and he recently earnt his side an FA Cup replay with an equaliser against Ipswich. Having grown up in Scottish football, Keillor-Davis got his first chance at Ross County, eventually playing over 40 games before leaving due to a lack of playtime.
Oldham handed the midfielder his first appearances in England, however, picking him up on a free in 2020. He has featured in all but two of Oldham’s league games this year, making two team of the weeks.
The other man making up for the lack of goalscoring from the Latics, and often working in tandem with Keillor-Dunn, is Dylan Bahamboula. Like his fellow midfielder, Bahamboula has bagged himself three league goals so far, with another in the EFL Cup.
This is the French midfielder’s first time playing for an English club, having arrived at Oldham in 2020. Previously, he had largely been in France and then Turkey, failing to make a real impact having made no more than 50 appearances for one team. In England, though, he seems to be enjoying his time.
Oldham rarely play a game without Bahamboula – he’s started 12 matches this year, missing three due to injury – as his dribbling and skilfulness add spice to an otherwise toothless attack at times. As a result of Oldham’s difficulty in front of goal, Bahamboula and Keillor-Davis have been known to start together up front, showing the manager’s faith in the duo.
You can check out more of Sam's Scouting Report on the Latics by picking up this weekend's programme the Grecian for £3.50 around St James Park.