Stevenage make the 350-mile round trip to West Yorkshire this Saturday for a 3pm kick-off with Bradford City in Sky Bet League Two…
Steve Evans’ men currently sit second in Sky Bet League Two after picking up six wins from eight league matches. Boro continued their fine run of form with a 1-0 win over Newport on Tuesday, through Alex Gilbey’s immense strike.
Bradford City certainly have an intriguing history, having won the FA Cup in 1911 as well as reaching the League Cup final just under a decade ago. The Bantams are also former members of the Premier League, having spent two campaigns in the division from 1999-2001.
Bradford have an ex-Premier League manager in charge, by the name of Mark Hughes, who previously took charge of Manchester City as well as a plethora of other clubs at the top of English football. His playing career was quite extraordinary as well, having represented European giants Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Hughes is also a two-time PFA player of the Year winner and was the first man to pick up the award on two occasions. The Welshman took over as Bantams boss in February 2022.
The West Yorkshire side have had a strong start to the 2022/23 campaign, picking up fourteen points from eight games and sitting just inside the play-off places. Their top scorer, Andy Cook, has racked up seven goals in all competitions and is sitting second in the Sky Bet League Two scoring charts. The Bantams are unbeaten at home in the league, so will no doubt prove to be a tough test for Steve Evans and his team.
Boro and Bradford have met on ten occasions in the past, with Saturday’s hosts able to boast the better record. Bradford have won six meetings whilst Stevenage have won two with the sides drawing twice in the past. Perhaps Boro’s best victory over The Bantams was in 2014 as Luke Freeman’s brace along with Francois Zoko’s finish led to a 3-2 win at Valley Parade.
Stevenage have struggled against Bradford in recent times, failing to claim victory over the West Yorkshire side since that 3-2 away win in 2014. Last season’s trip to Valley Parade ended 4-1 to the hosts despite Elliott List’s first half strike.
The Bantams have played their football at the University of Bradford stadium since the club’s creation in 1903. A disastrous fire broke out in May 1985 as Bradford were at home to Lincoln City, which led to a £2.6 million redevelopment. The ground underwent significant changes in the 1990s and early 2000s, and now has a capacity of 25,136. The record attendance of 39,146 was set in 1911 for an FA Cup tie against Burnley.
Lee Swabey has been appointed Match Referee for Saturday’s fixture and will be joined by Assistants Wayne Grunnill and Steve Durnall with Richard Woodward as Fourth Official. So far this season, Swabey has handed out twenty seven yellow cards and one red card in seven matches.