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Match Preview - We take a look at Yorkshire rivals Bradford City ahead of this weekend's FA Cup opener

4 November 2022

We take a break from league action with a mouth-watering lunchtime derby clash in the FA Cup this weekend as Simon Weaver and his side make the short trip to face Bradford City with a place in round two of the famous old competition up for grabs.

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Our opponents

City of course had the upper hand earlier in the season, emerging as narrow 2-1 victors at The Envirovent Stadium thanks to Tyreik Wright's winner after Jaheim Headley had cancelled out Andy Cook's opener.

The win was their first in five meetings between the two sides since town entered the EFL, ending Town's previous 100% record.

The Bantams currently lie in sixth place in League Two having been defeated just once in their past 12 games – although they come into the game on the back of three consecutive draws.

FA Cup spotlight

Town will be looking to replicate last seasons efforts where they defeated Wrexham and League One side Portsmouth before being defeated by Championship side Luton in a first ever appearance in round three of the competition. In 2020/21 they made it to round two before exiting to Blackpool.

City are one-time winners of the competition, lifting the trophy back in 1910/11. In recent times they have not made to the third round since the 2017/18 season and last year exited to Exeter in round one after a replay that itself had to be replayed after the Grecians had made six substitutions in error during the game.

The man in charge

City landed somewhat of a coup towards the end of last season when Mark Hughes was appointed to replace Derek Adams in February 2022.

It was the first time that Hughes had managed outside of the Premier League after previous spells with Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Southampton and Stoke as well as managing the Welsh national side.

Ones to watch

Striker Andy Cook has again begun the season in fine form, netting ten goals so far this season
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Former Hull midfielder Richard Smallwood will anchor the Bantams midfield whilst Matt Platt, a summer arrival from Barrow, has immediately slotted into the defence and has been an ever present so far. Matthew Foulds has also made important contributions so far this season.

The club also added the deadline day loan signings of Dion Pereira from Luton and Tyreik Wright from Aston Villa, with Wright contributing three goals and two assists since his arrival.

Recent history

Bradford have spent much of their recent history in the top two divisions of English football, spending two seasons in the Premier League under Paul Jewell at the turn of the century, the first of which saw them pull off ‘The Great Escape' as the survived relegation on the final day by defeating Liverpool at Valley Parade.

However, consecutive relegations saw them tumble through the divisions in the mid-2000's and although they made a return to League One, they were relegated back to the bottom division following the 2018/19 season.

Team news

Simon Weaver remains without Will Smith, Max Wright, Dior Angus and Stephen Dooley, but hope that the recent injury crisis is finally beginning to ease with George Thomson and Joe Mattock returning to training, though this weekend's tie may come too soon.

Captain Josh Falkingham is a doubt for the fixture having picked up a knock at Wimbledon.
 

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