THE MATCH PREVIEW: v BRADFORD CITY (H) THE MATCH PREVIEW: v BRADFORD CITY (H)

THE MATCH PREVIEW: v BRADFORD CITY (H)

This coming Saturday, Walsall Football Club play host to Bradford City in the Saddlers' first home game of the 2014/15 Sky Bet League One season.
This coming Saturday, Walsall Football Club play host to Bradford City in the Saddlers' first home game of the 2014/15 Sky Bet League One season.

The Saddlers opened their league campaign last Saturday with a 1-1 draw away to near rivals Port Vale. The game saw striker Tom Bradshaw open his goal-scoring account on his full debut.

Walsall will be without defenders Matt Preston and Ben Purkiss, midfielder Sam Mantom and striker Jordan Cook who all miss out through injury.

Smith could hand a debut to newest recruit Anthony Forde, who arrived from Wolves earlier this week, though is expected to make few changes to his side.

Bradford City opened their league campaign with a 3-2 victory over homeless Coventry city and followed it up with a 1-0 Capital One Cup victory over Morecambe on Tuesday evening.

The Bantams could hand a debut to Mason Bennett who arrived on loan from Derby County earlier this week.

Midfielder Gary Liddle is back in contention after missing the midweek Capital One Cup win at Morecambe due to the birth of his daughter, but defender Alan Sheehan misses out. He has returned to Ireland following the death of a close relative.

Loan goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is likely to return after also missing the win over Morecambe after not being given permission to play by Sunderland.

Striker Aaron Mclean is expected to start on the bench again following a calf injury despite scoring the winner on Tuesday night.

In-terms of head-to-head, it's all square between the two sides with twelve wins apiece, there have also been fifteen draws during the fixtures history. The Saddlers have won just one of the last five meetings, three of the previous ten.

Their first encounter took place on 7th January 1922 during an FA Cup First Round tie, which took place at Fellows Park and ended in a 3-3 draw, the Saddlers lost the replay 4-0 at Bradford's Valley Parade.

The last match between the two took place in March of this year, the Saddlers defeating the Bantams 2-0 at the newly dubbed Coral Windows Stadium, avenging a 2-0 defeat of their own from earlier in the season.

This weekends referee will be Mr Dean Whitestone who is based in Northamptonshire. Alix Pashley and Simon Knapp will be running the lines, whilst Richard Bartlett is scheduled to be Fourth Official.
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