Lincoln City come to Valley Parade off the back of their first ever loss to Accrington Stanley since their reformation. But a 1-0 victory on the season’s opening day against Barnet means that we can only look up at the Imps’ lofty position.
This fixture last season came in that dreadful run towards the end of the season and Lee Bullock salvaged a point after the Imps took the lead shortly after the interval.
After Saturday’s solid display against Port Vale the wailing and gnashing of teeth that had been building since April has calmed down a little to be replaced by rumours of departure and anger.
Whether there’s anything in Joe Colbeck’s continual linking with Oldham or in the supposed falling out Matt Clarke has had with Stuart McCall time will tell but it’s amazing how we Bantams need to find a crisis!
Not that it will really impact upon the team Stuart picks. After impressive home debuts a whole host of players will be looking to carry on where they left off but, having dealt with his shaky defence, the Ginger Messiah will now shift his focus to his misfiring strikers.
Three games into the season and still no goals is worrying so there will be questions raised if Stuart persists with Thorne and Boulding tomorrow night.
Gareth Evans again staked his claim with an energetic performance and there are plenty of people who would like to see the possibility of trying Boulding or Hanson alongside the former Macclesfield man.
Bradford City Team News:
Stuart McCall is unable to keep faith with the same backline that looked so secure on Saturday. Simon Eastwood will continue in goal, Simon Ramsden, Zesh Rehman and Steve Williams will continue in front of him but Anthony Griffith’s challenge on Luke O’Brien has left the Player of the Year on the sidelines meaning Louis Horne will be given the chance to shine.
In midfield the quartet of Hanson, Flynn, O’Leary and Brandon looks set to continue with Joe Colbeck and Lee Bullock watching from the sidelines.
However, Stuart may restore Joe to the starting lineup and move Hanson into an attacking role alongside Gareth Evans and rest Peter Thorne and Michael Boulding. Much has been said of Thorne’s inability to play two games a week and he may be nursing a knock after colliding heavily with Chris Martin on Saturday.
Stuart has slight concerns over one or two players but, keeping his cards close to his chest, we don’t know which!
Player to watch: Steve Williams
Impressed on his full home debut and will have another chance to cement his position in the team. Lincoln will pose a threat from set pieces. A solid defensive performance would do wonders for our hopes ahead of Saturday’s away trip to Cheltenham.
Lincoln City Team News:
Lincoln look set to be without midfielder Richard Butcher who is, like Luke O’Brien, nursing a knee injury sustained on Saturday.
On-loan defender Joe Heath may also be rested as the Nottingham Forest left back played through the pain of a groin injury at the weekend.
Also in doubt is Paul Connor, absent against Accrington, and recovering from a thigh injury that looks set to mean he is less than 100% tomorrow night.
Aside from that Peter Jackson has a squad that is recovering from other knocks and niggles meaning that one-time Bantam Scott Kerr will once again captain the visitors.
Player to watch: Janos Kovacs
Apparently of interest to Billy Davies at Nottingham Forest, the Hungarian is an impressive man mountain at the heart of their defence. It was he who was the opening day difference against Barnet and it could be he that thwarts our efforts to score tomorrow night. It could be a fascinating battle between him and James Hanson if they’re matched up.
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The Bantams go away to currently unbeaten Cheltenham on Saturday. A good result tonight could see us pull away from the foot of the table and start to build belief ahead of this tricky away tie.