Bradford City v Walsall: Match Preview Bradford City v Walsall: Match Preview
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Bradford City v Walsall: Match Preview

Here is our look ahead to Saturday's League Two meeting between the Saddlers and Bantams.
Don't forget to join us across our social media channels where we'll bring you all the matchday build-up, in-game updates, and post-match reaction as the Saddlers return to action.

PRE-MATCH NEWS & VIEWS

After enjoying a four-game unbeaten run, the Saddlers have lost their last two league games and find themselves once again looking down rather than up.

Losses to Swindon Town and AFC Wimbledon saw the Saddlers slip back into the bottom half of the table after a brief spell in the upper echelons.

Speaking during a recent interview, Head Coach Mat Sadler insisted, despite the aforementioned defeats, he will not tinker with his formation and is confident his side can get more out of games.

Whilst we're inclined to agree that a formation can't be switched and swapped on a game-by-game basis, the team has struggled for form over recent weeks and, despite the four-game loss-less spell, has far-from impressed the ever-suffering faithful.

With a number of injuries and suspensions taking a regular toll on the team, the gaffer may eventually be forced into a tactical switch, with many calling for a return to a 442 formation, something that could well work, especially as defensive options are far from plentiful.

Clearly, Sadler is going to know more about his players' pros and cons, but we can't help but feel he has shown far too much stubbornness when it comes to a tactical change, and, whilst he has been able to get his side back into games will well-timed changes, we'd prefer to see the team line-up in a logical formation from the beginning.

WALSALL TEAM NEWS

The Saddlers still have Rollin Menayese, Brandon Comley, and Jack Earing out as they continue to recover from injury, whilst defender Taylor Allen is suspended following his red card against AFC Wimbledon.

Priestley Farquharson will miss out after injuring his Achilles during last weekend's defeat to the Dons, though Oisin McEntee has taken part in training this week.

OPPOSITION NEWS

Opponents Bradford City are undefeated in their last five League Two outings and will reach this weekend's match on the back of a 4-1 victory over Newport County and a match that saw former Saddler Andy Cook net a hat-trick.

The Bantams have enjoyed plenty of recent success against the Saddlers, with Mark Hughes' men going undefeated in their last eight home matches against Walsall in all competitions.

FORM IN FIVE

Here is how the Saddlers and their opponents Bradford City have fared in their last five Sky Bet League Two games.

BRADFORD CITY
WALSALL
WDDDW
DWWLL

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Saddlers and Bantams have met on fifty-six previous occasions and it's Bradford who hold an overall lead having won nineteen times compared to the Saddlers' fourteen.

There have also been twenty-three draws over the history of the fixture, a history which began at Fellows Park on Saturday, 7th January 1922 as the two sides faced off in an FA Cup - First Round clash, which would ultimately end in a draw and force a replay just three days later.

The original fixture produced six goals but still couldn't separate the sides, however, the replay saw four goals scored with a clear gap between the two as the Bantams eased through to the Second Round, winning by four-goals-to-nil.

THE LAST TIME WE MET

The most recent meeting was a League Two clash that took place at the Bescot on Tuesday, 7th March and saw the spoils shared as neither side was able to hit the back of the net.

MATCH OFFICIALS

The EFL has confirmed that Scott Jackson, who is an officer in the Royal Navy, will be the man in the middle, whilst Daniel Woodward and Lee Freeman have been named assistant referees. Danny Jarvis will act as Fourth Official.

GAMES
OFFICIATED
6
YELLOW
CARDS
RED
CARDS
30
1
PENALTIES
AWARDED
3

CATCH THE MATCH

If you're not planning on going to the game you can catch the match via the club's in-house service - iFollow Walsall - which takes you through the highs and lows of every Saddlers game.

Not an iFollow Walsall subscriber? There are a range of options available, including monthly, annual, and gift subscriptions. For further information on the service, or to set up your subscription, click HERE.
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