Bradford City go into this first round clash at the Galpharm Stadium having enjoyed a good victory over Notts County at the weekend.
15,000 Huddersfield Town fans on the other hand saw their team fail to meet their expectations in a disappointing 1-1 draw with newly promoted Stockport County.
For many this is the rivalry that defines our clubs, more so even than our relationship with Leeds United.
This is probably down to the fact that for most of our histories Bradford City and the ‘Dog Botherers’ have shared a similar level on the football pitch, enjoying a regular dose of footballing competition.
The last time the two sides met was in the season we were relegated from League One and saw us lose 2-0 (we also lost the home fixture 1-0). Whilst only one fixture it was this game that showed the squad didn’t really have the heart or the stomach to avoid the drop.
Although most of tonight’s squad was not at the club that day (only Joe Colbeck, Omar Daley, Mark Bower and Matt Clarke were) one key person was in the stands that day. Stuart McCall.
Having spent a miserable time witnessing a City capitulation I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Bradford City gaffer has no intention of watching that happen from the touchline, where he can do something about it.
Expect a bumper crowd, expect some fantastic atmosphere and expect some unfinished business to be tidied up
Stan Ternant, Terriers boss, ahead of the clash being typically incomprehensible ‘They had a good win on Saturday and it will be a difficult match, but derby matches always are. Both sides will want the bragging rights and I’m looking forward to it. It’s another game under our belt too. I want to win any game we play but tomorrow will let me switch one or two things around to have a look.’
Before immediately lining up his excuses in case they don’t manage to pull it off ‘one of the things that is difficult for the players here is that because of the injection of capital from Dean Hoyle there is an expectation level, but as I have said you can’t just order a promotion. When you look around the teams that are in our League, it’s difficult. The players will have to be mentally tough but the supporters here aren’t daft and we need them to be behind us. Sometimes they will get frustrated, but it is important that they back the players and encourage them.
I’ve basically spent five weeks with the players and I need to spend more time with them. All managers will say this, but it takes time to get things right and we’ll get better as we go.’
Huddersfield Town Team News:
Veteran (and so often a thorn in City’s side) Andy Booth damaged his ankle on Saturday and won’t be fit until Saturday.
However, Ternant has ready and able replacements waiting in the wings to partner former-Bantam Danny Cadamarteri up front. New signing Keigan Parker could make his debut whilst twice-targeted Luke Beckett or Phil Jevons are also pressing for inclusion.
23 year old defender David Mirfin has also left Huddersfield for their League One rivals Scunthorpe. The youth setup product has joined the Iron on a three year contract for an initial £150k
Player to watch: Danny Cadamarsbar
By the time Cadamarteri left Valley Parade under a cloud of suspicion and rumour he had exhausted the patience of the as-ever unforgiving Valley Parade crowds. In his two spells for the club the striker only managed to score 8 times. This was despite making 96 appearances.
Over his career he has a goal scoring ration of 0.1, and people say Barry Conlon is bad!
Expect to hear plenty of banter for the Cleckheaton born lad and him probably to play the game of his life.
Bradford City Team News:
Stuart McCall has no new injury concerns of suspended players ahead of this first cup game of the season as Chris Brandon has failed to regain his fitness to play opposite his former team and Joe Colbeck sits out the final game of his suspension.
Michael Boulding may have recovered form his ankle injury but it is unlikely that Stuart will throw him on from the start having had only 15 minutes of footballing action since the end of last season.
Consequently it is likely the Ginger Messiah will name an unchanged 11 from that which started against Notts County and which, for 70 minutes, looked incredibly comfortable.
TJ Moncur and Billy Topp will be pressing for a start but are likely to start on the bench.
Player to watch: Omar Daley
He’s set the bar with a tremendous performance on Saturday. Following it up with a good midweek performance away from Valley Parade could see less discussion about what he does, or doesn’t bring to the side and more concerted belief that Omar Daley can tear League Two to shreds.
Click here for the lowdown on tonight’s official
City travel to Macclesfield on Saturday.
Last year they won this fixture 1-0 with David Brown’s debut goal.
The Silkmen endured a 4-0 defeat to Shrewsbury on Saturday so will be looking to get their season off to a better start at home.
For our part I hope the Bantams can carry the momentum through tonight and into Saturday to really give us reasons to be cheerful about the season ahead.