Sky Bet League 1
The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, SG2 8RH
Weather forecast: Sunny, 19c
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)
After losing out to Everton in extra-time on Wednesday, a quick turnaround sees Boro get back to league business as they face Bradford at The Lamex on Saturday. Bradford had an incredible season last year, reaching the League Cup final and getting promoted through the League Two play-offs and are looking to make the jump to the Championship in their first year back at this level.
Last time we met:
The two clubs last met in April 2011 when Stevenage came out on top, winning 2-1 at home. Boro were in the thick of chasing their second successive promotion and John Mousinho gave the home-side the perfect start, converting a penalty after 36 minutes. As time went on Bradford got back into the game and equalised through David Syers with 20 minutes to go but six minutes later Darius Charles sealed the win.
Boro: Day, Wilson, Laird, Charles (Beardsley), Foster, Roberts, Henry, Long (Murphy), Mousinho, Bostwick, Reid (May).
Subs not used: Welch, Byrom, Bridges, Winn.
Stevenage could make changes after forcing Everton into extra-time in Wednesday’s cup game. Greg Tansey, Simon Heslop and Oumare Tounkara will be hoping for starts whilst Darius Charles is a doubt after coming off injured in that game. Ben Chorley and Lucas Akins are out.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Bradford ahead of the game and should travel with a full-strength squad to Hertfordshire.
The Bradford City Scout Report
Bradford have started the season off in fine form, picking up 7 points after 4 games and currently occupy the last play-off spot. The club have clearly taken all the belief and confidence that they gained last season and will be aiming for another promotion, after last year’s wonderful campaign. An opening day draw at Bristol City was followed up with a 4-0 demolition of Carlisle United. Despite losing at Port Vale the Bantams bounced back impressively, beating Sheffield United 2-0.
Possible Bradford line-up on Saturday (4-4-2 formation):
Jon McLaughlin; Stephen Darby, Andrew Davies, Rory McArdle, James Meredith; Gary Thompson, Gary Jones, Michael Doyle, Mark Yeates; James Hanson, Nahki Wells
Subs from: Connor Ripley (GK), Ricky Ravenhill, Kyel Reid, Matt Taylor, Carl McHugh, Alan Connell, Raffaele De Vita
Bradford centre-back Luke Oliver played for Stevenage between 2006 and 2009 and made 76 appearances for the club. Often on the fringes of the squad, he joined Wycombe in January 2009 where he stayed for a year until signing for Bradford.
Striker Nahki Wells found the back of the net 26 times last season as Bradford clinched promotion to League 1 via the playoffs and of course made it famously all the way to the Capital One Cup final at Wembley, losing to Swansea City. The Bermudan international first featured in English football for Carlisle, for whom he made just three sub appearances before joining Bradford in summer 2011 as a trialist. He scored 12 goals in 37 appearances during 11/12 before last year’s remarkable run of goal-scoring form attracted the attention of many big clubs. The 23-year old has also started this season in brilliant form, currently top of the League One goal scoring chart with 6 goals in all competitions. The nimble striker has scored at least one in every game played this year and is clearly key to the Bantams success.