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Match Previews


31 March 2017

Match Previews


31 March 2017

The Saddlers visit Valley Parade tomorrow...

Both teams lost 3-2 in their last league outings and will be eager to get back on track. The Saddlers, beaten by Southend a fortnight ago, are targeting a first away win since Boxing Day, when a Scott Laird strike secured victory at Port Vale. Bradford’s televised reverse at play-off rivals Scunthorpe on Sunday was just their sixth of the campaign – the joint fewest in League One – although their tally of 18 draws is a league high. Twelve of those have come at Valley Parade, where the Bantams are unbeaten in 27 league matches – a run stretching back to 1st March 2016. The Saddlers have lost only one of the last six meetings with Bradford, winning two and drawing three. However, that defeat did come on our most recent visit to BD8 – 4-0 last April. 

Bradford: 5th – P40 W16 D18 L6 F54 A39 PTS66 
Walsall: 13th – P38 W13 D14 L12 F47 A49 PTS53 

26th March – Scunthorpe 3-2 Bradford – League One 
Matt Crooks’ late header earned Scunthorpe a pulsating victory over play-off rivals Bradford. Ivan Toney’s early strike put the Iron in front but quick-fire goals from ex-Saddler Kevin Toner – on his Bantams debut – and Alex Jones put City 2-1 ahead. Toney equalised with an acrobatic 49th-minute bicycle kick before Crooks nodded in the winner from a corner.

18th March – Southend 3-2 Walsall – League One 
The Saddlers squandered a two-goal half-time lead to lose at play-off chasing Southend. Ex-Shrimper Franck Moussa scored twice in eight first-half minutes to put the visitors in control. But United fought back after the break, with second-half strikes from Nile Ranger, Anton Ferdinand and Simon Cox completing a stirring Blues fightback.

Bradford wins: 13 
Walsall wins: 13 
Draws: 18 

26th November 2016 – Walsall 1-1 Bradford – League One 
Isaiah Osbourne scored his first goal in three years as Walsall held high-flying Bradford to a battling draw. The powerful midfielder opened the scoring on 49 minutes when he collected a loose ball on the edge of the box before drilling a low shot into the far corner. But the Bantams equalised four minutes later, ex-Saddler Jordy Hiwula netting from a tight angle after his initial effort was saved by Neil Etheridge.

Bradford Manager: Stuart McCall 
The 52-year-old was appointed Bantams boss for a second time in the summer, replacing Phil Parkinson. A club legend, the former Scotland international midfielder enjoyed two hugely-successful spells at Valley Parade as a player, scoring 52 goals in 443 appearances and achieving two promotions. The former Motherwell and Rangers manager also spent three years in charge of the Yorkshire club between 2007 and 2010. 

Bradford Star Man: Mark Marshall 
Jamaican winger who has played in 42 of Bradford’s 48 matches in all competitions this season, netting four goals. The 29-year-old joined City on a free transfer from Port Vale in July 2015 and has featured exactly 80 times over the past two seasons. He started his career with Swindon and later enjoyed spells with Barnet and Coventry. 

Eoghan O’Connell could return. Erhun Oztumer and Flo Cuvelier are both out, while Reece Flanagan is a long-term absentee. 

Michael Salisbury 
The official has taken charge of 28 matches this term, issuing 97 yellow cards and nine red. His last Saddlers match was our 4-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe in September.

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