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Match Previews

WALSALL VS. BRADFORD CITY: MATCH PREVIEW

27 November 2015

The Bantams visit the Banks's this weekend...

WALSALL VS. BRADFORD CITY
Banks’s Stadium
Saturday, 28th November 2015 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One

OVERVIEW:
Fourth hosts sixth at the Banks’s this weekend. The Saddlers suffered their first away league defeat – and only their third reverse of the season – at Swindon on Tuesday night. In-form Bradford are unbeaten in ten matches (league and cup) and haven’t conceded a goal in their last seven. The Bantams will leapfrog Walsall with a win.

LEAGUE STANDINGS:
Walsall: 4th – P18 W9 D6 L3 F30 A17 PTS33
Bradford: 6th – P19 W8 D7 L4 F21 A18 PTS31

LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
Walsall: LDWDW
Bradford: DWWWD

LAST TIME OUT:
Tuesday, 24th November – Swindon 2-1 Walsall – League One
Louis Thompson's last-minute winner condemned the Saddlers to defeat. Jonathan Obika's free header put Town ahead, Tom Bradshaw equalised but Thompson fired home from distance to give Swindon a dramatic win.
Team:Etheridge, Demetriou, Downing, O’Connor, Henry, Chambers, Evans (Flanagan 76’), Forde, Cook (Lalkovic 82’), Sawyers, Bradshaw.
Subs not used: Taylor, Baxendale, MacGillivray, Preston, Morris.


Saturday, 24th November – Bradford 0-0 Coventry – League One
The Bantams extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches following a goalless draw against leaders Coventry. Bradford’s Rory McArdle poked wide from close range, while Adam Armstrong rattled the woodwork for the visitors.
Team:Williams, Darby, McArdle, N Clarke, Leigh, McMahon, Evans (Liddle 85’), Knott, Reid, Hanson (Bowery 74’), B Clarke (Cole 74’).
Subs not used: Marshall, Morris, Cracknell, James.


HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD:
Walsall wins: 17Draws:
12 Bradford wins:
12

LAST MEETING:
Saturday 21st February 2015 – Bradford 1-1 Walsall
A second-half header from Manchester City loanee Jordi Hiwula earned Walsall a point. The Bantams took a 51st-minute lead when Billy Clarke drilled into the bottom corner from 25 yards. But the Saddlers equalised 16 minutes from time, Jordan Cook crossing for Hiwula to head home from close range.

BRADFORD MANAGER:
Phil Parkinson – The 47-year-old was appointed Bradford boss in August 2011 and is the sixth longest-serving manager in English football’s top four divisions. During the 2012/13 season, Parkinson guided City to the League Cup final and promotion from League Two. Parkinson, who has also managed Colchester, Hull and Charlton, masterminded the Bantams’ shock 4-2 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup last season.

BRADFORD STAR MAN:
James Hanson – The towering target man has scored 79 goals in 290 matches for his hometown club. He joined Bradford from Guiseley in July 2009 and was named City’s Player of the Year in 2009/10. Other notable highlights include: a vital header against Aston Villa in the League Cup semi-final second leg; and Bradford’s opener in the 2013 League Two play-off final.

VIEW FROM THE BRADFORD CAMP:
Phil Parkinson (on playing Walsall) – "This weekend's game is so important because we go into a two-week break without a league game afterwards. We'll have a long time to look over the league table over those fourteen days and we know we'll need a great performance to help keep us in that top six. Walsall have played a similar sort of system and style over recent seasons so there should be no surprises for the lads. We should know what to expect and there will be no excuses because we'll be prepared for it."

WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Sam Mantom (ankle) is nearing a return. Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is out.

REFEREE:
Mark Brown (from East Yorkshire).

STAT OF THE DAY:
Walsall’s last home win against Bradford came on 6th December 2003 – 1-0 with Gary Birch scoring the only goal.

SATURDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES: (3.00pm unless stated)
Barnsley vs. Sheff Utd
Blackpool vs. Fleetwood
Burton vs. Colchester
Chesterfield vs. Swindon
Coventry vs. Doncaster
Crewe vs. Oldham
Millwall vs. Bury
Rochdale vs. Port Vale
Scunthorpe vs. Peterborough
Shrewsbury vs. Gillingham
Southend vs. Wigan

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