Date: 14th August 2009 at 9:20pm
Written by:

We’re two games into the season, but we’re going to forget about them.

Tomorrow needs to be the day that Stuart McCall’s team shake off any lingering cobwebs and put fragile minds at ease. Although we boast the best away following in the league only a fraction of the men, women and children who showered the manager with their support at the end of last season have seen the team play.

Tomorrow all that changes.

Tomorrow is a day when Port Vale visit Valley Parade. Last season they were one of only two teams to take maximum points in BD8. Today is not only an opportunity for vengeance but it is also the opportunity to settle nerves and to reassure. The knives are certainly out, and with a pace that suggests they have been well sharpened since defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge finally killed any chance of the playoffs.

Should we come out fighting and do something early to assert home advantage then tomorrow could be the fillip everyone needs. If the opposite is true then a confident and potentially cocky Port Vale, managed by wily old fox Micky Adams, could pile the misery on before the visit of Lincoln on Tuesday.

Vital Quotes:

Vital Bradford wants to get your news and views so send your 140 character match previews to @VitalBradford and we’ll include them here. Got something to say before, during, or after the game? Then Tweet It.

@martinedmondson: Concerned that crowd will get on the team’s back way too early. will be following from gig in Winchester…

@RobAA: It’s only early days but already a much needed win is required to boost the confidence Would settle for a 1-0 win

Bradford City Team News:

Stuart McCall will welcome back Matt Clarke and Steve O’Leary into his squad for the game with Port Vale. However, the chances are that they will not feature.

Simon Eastwood may be replaced with Jon McLaughlin but it sounds as though he was responsible for some very good saves so that might be harsh (8 conceded goals notwithstanding).

In front of him Luke O’Brien will be looking to get back to his form of last season (that’s just for you ThorneInMySide), Simon Ramsden will continue to impress at rightback meaning that Zesh Rehman and Steve Williams will be preferred in the centre.

Will Stuart continue with his preferred quartet of Chris Brandon, Joe Colbeck, Lee Bullock and Michael Flynn in the middle? Perhaps he’ll look to play three in the middle with Bullock, Flynn and Brandon supporting a single striker and two wider players, perhaps in the guise of Joe Colbeck and James Hanson?

Or will he revert to a 4-4-2 with Peter Thorne and Michael Boulding restored to the starting XI.

Such a decision would be harsh on both Gareth Evans and James O’Brien who gave Stuart reasons to ponder after coming out of Wednesday’s night with credit.

The Bantams need a goal, and they need to stop conceding. Something has to give so Stuart may spring one or two surprises tomorrow afternoon.

Player to watch: Michael Flynn

This will be the first opportunity many have to see the former Huddersfield player and I will be wanting to establish his credentials

Port Vale Team News:

Port Vale will welcome back their Northern Irish prodigy James Lawrie from international duty in midweek. Not that the visitors missed him in defeating Sheffield United 2-1. Integral to that victory was Marc Richards who will be partnered up front by regularly (jokingly) linked Geoff Horsfield.

Former Bantam, and almost record holder Claus Jorgensen is in the Valiants’ squad after working with Micky Adams at Coventry. Back in the day we all expected big things form the Dane after his departure from Valley Parade but things fizzled out. I hope he gets a good reaction from the VP faithful as he was responsible for some of the brighter moments in the last 8 years.

The Bantams will need to be wary of a confident Vale line up after their midweek heroics.

Visit here for the Vital Port Vale lowdown on the match.

Player to watch: Marc Richards

Three goals in two games for a player that had been largely written off before a ball was kicked in anger. Vale are dangerous and Micky Adams has them well organised. Stopping Richards will stand us in good stead for trying to secure that first clean sheet of the year.

Twitter

As the club continue to push the Bradford Player to those who won’t be at the game tomorrow Vital Bradford will be attempting the first ‘live tweeting’ of a match.

If you’re stuck at home tomorrow then point your browser here for live in-game updates and opinions. If you want to contribute to the debate remember to add #bcvpv.

And don’t forget to join the Bradford City Twibe

Next Fixtures:

Lincoln City are the visitors on Tuesday evening. The Bantams have two games in four days. A good points return would significantly boost morale. The alternative just doesn’t bear thinking about.