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BIG MATCH PREVIEW: WALSALL v CITY

The Bantams are back in action tomorrow, visiting Walsall on matchday eight of their 2019/20 Sky Bet League Two campaign.

Gary Bowyer’s men visit the Banks’s Stadium after securing a dramatic late 2-1 triumph at home to Northampton Town, last Saturday.  

City currently sit 10th in the league having won three of their opening seven games, with a win potentially lifting them to as high as fourth. 

The Saddlers, meanwhile, have seen as less fortunate start to the season, currently sitting 21st in the table after a 22nd-place finish in Sky Bet League One last season. 

We have compiled a Big Match Preview with everytherything you need to know ahead of the clash…

TEAM NEWS 

City: Gary Bowyer will be without the services of Jamie Devitt, who was confirmed to be missing around four months with a torn hamstring tendon injury. 

Zeli Ismail will also be unavailable to face his former side, having picked up a red card in last weekend’s victory over Northampton. 

Adam Henley and Shay McCartan are back in contention for starting places, while Aramide Oteh could make his debut in claret and amber.

Walsall: Walsall could name a similar line-up to the one which drew 0-0 with Colchester United last weekend. 

Former Bantams midfielder Gary Liddle could line up in the home midfield. 

Danny Guthrie and Rory Holden are both close to returning from injury but Kory Roberts is still unavailable. 

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID

Gary Bowyer: “There has been a calm mood around the training ground and everyone has been relaxed and focussed on the task ahead.

“But we are still well-aware of the challenge Walsall will provide. They are rebuilding with a new manager and have recruited well, with a lot of new players.

“We know what kind of test we are going to be faced with and are expecting another very tough game.”

Darrell Clarke: “Bradford have got the squad, the resources and the fanbase and I will be amazed if they do not finish in the top seven.

“It will be a difficult game. James Vaughan and Clayton Donaldson up top are a handful so we know it is going to be a tough test.

“But I am sure they are looking at us and thinking they are in for a tough game, as well.”

LAST TIME OUT 

City’s last meeting with the Saddlers came last season, in February.

A Sky Bet League One clash, the Bantams fell 3-2 at the Banks’s Stadium

Walsall 3 (Gordon 42′, 62′), Edwards (47′)

Bradford City 2 (Doyle 12′), (A. O’Connor 53′)

Sky Bet League One 

Saturday February 23, 2019

Attendance: 5,503

Walsall: Liam Roberts; Nicky Devlin (yellow 24′), Dan Scarr, Jon Guthrie, Luke Leahy; Joe Edwards (c), Liam Kinsella; Josh Gordon (Aramide Oteh 83′), Zeli Ismail (Isaiah Osbourne 79′), Matt Jarvis (yellow 53′) (George Dobson 87′); Andy Cook (red 6′). Subs (not used): Chris Dunn, Jack Fitzwater, Scott Laird, Corey Taylor.

City: Richard O’Donnell; Paul Caddis (Kelvin Mellor 85′), Anthony O’Connor (c), Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Adam Chicksen; Jacob Butterfield (yellow 74′), Lewis O’Brien (yellow 34′) (George Miller 85′); David Ball, Jack Payne, Billy Clarke (Jermaine Anderson 72′); Eoin Doyle. Subs (not used): Ben Wilson, Hope Akpan, Connor Wood. 

MATCH OFFICIALS 

Anthony Backhouse has taken charge of six EFL fixtures so far this season, dishing out 20 booking and one red card. 

The referee last officiated City in last October’s 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland, issuing two yellow cards and two reds. 

He will be assisted by Declan Ford and Steven Plane, with Matthew Bristow in as fourth official. 

MATCH COVERAGE

Supporters unable to make it to the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow can follow match action via the club’s official Twitter page.

The live feed will provide minute-by-minute coverage of the clash in addition to updates on other social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram.

Full audio match commentary is available to iFollow Bantams subscribers, while BBC Radio Leeds’ Tim Steere and Andy Kiwomya will provide live radio commentary on 774 MW.

IFollow subscribers can also catch all the reaction with post-match interviews and content, while supporters based outside the UK with a package can even tune into a live video stream!

BACK THE BANTAMS – WITH SKY BET

City supporters can back the Bantams for victory tomorrow with Sky Bet.

Gary Bowyer’s men are currently priced at 13/8 for victory in the Midlands. 

James Vaughan is favourite to open the scoring, currently placed at 9/2. 

City fans can place their bets by CLICKING HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: All odds are subject to change.

KIT COLOURS

City will wear their claret and amber home kit for their Midlands trip, with Walsall in their traditional red and white home strip.

Walsall: Red / White / Red

City: Claret and Amber Stripes / Black with Amber Detail / Black with Amber Detail

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