Well, who’d have thought it would be 14 years before we would be welcoming Burton Albion to Valley Parade? On that occasion Gary Robson’s infamous arse helped settle the match in our favour. In the intervening period both sides have gone on to bigger and better things.
We, of course, are flailing back to earth after our flirtatious affair with higher level football whilst Paul Peschisolido’s men are adjusting rapidly to their first season in the football league. Their journey has reached one destination but there is a definite sense that it’s got a lot further to rumble.
And so last week’s point at Meadow Lane confirms that the Brewers have what it takes to compete in league football. A return of 3 wins, 2 losses and a draw is the same as ours (although they’re 5 goals to the good). But after our first four games noone would have thought that likely.
Fortunately, the second four have been a lot more encouraging and Stuart’s men have the opportunity to do something not seen since the 2004/05 season when Colin Todd led us to 5 wins in a row. Exciting.
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@proxymoron: I demand that someone scores with their arse v. Burton, like Gary Robson did the only other time we met. It should be tradition. #bcvba
despite what I may have claimed earlier). For the sake of completeness, and not because he’d be anywhere near the pitch, Matthew Convey is on loan at Hyde United.
However, Simon Eastwood has been carrying a knock this week meaning that Jon McLaughlin could get a sniff at the number 1 jersey leaving Stuart to field a side without a substitute goalkeeper.
In front of Eastwood, who is expected to shake off that niggle, will be Luke O’Brien, Simon Ramsden, Zesh Rehman and Steve Williams in a back four that appears to pick itself.
Team of the Week nominee Lee Bullock will partner Michael Flynn and Jamie O’Brien in the Bantams midfield as Stuart continues with the players who have taken us this far. Scott Neilson will provide some width on the right as Stuart waits on Omar Daley’s return to return to a duel flank approach although Chris Brandon’s involvement in training may see him involved at some point tomorrow.
Up front James Hanson and Gareth Evans will both be expected to shake off their knocks although Michael Boulding is waiting in the wings after recovering from his virus.
Player to watch: James Hanson
He’s quickly establishing himself as a favourite amongst the Bradford City support because he clearly wants to do his best for the club. Already drawing comparisons with Ian Ormondroyd it was his winning goal that saw the Bantams progress in the cup 14 years ago. Could our modern-day Stix be the difference today?
Burton Albion Team News:
Paul Peschisolido is unlikely to make any changes after the creditable draw at Meadow Lane with midfielder Kevin Gilroy his only injury as he has yet to recover from a torn abductor muscle.
He has however been welcoming back injured players but his left sided duo of winger Marc Goodfellow and full back Aaron Webster will have to content themselves with spots on the bench before they make their first team return.
The Bantams backline will need to be wary of Richard Walker, last week’s goalscoring hero and Jacques Maghoma who was a pacy handful for the Magpies’ defence.
Player to watch: Richard Walker
If you score against a goalkeeper rumoured to have cost in excess of £685,000 it’s going to do a lot for your confidence. Rehman and Williams, keep Walker in your pocket!
Match Facts & Stats
The first league fixture between the two. A little bit of history is there for the making. Hopefully we get to write it from the perspective of victory
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As cropcirclehead rightly states, these are the games we struggled with last year. Will the 09/10 season banish those ghosts? I’m not sure. I think this will be another home draw.
On Saturday we go to Underhill and take on early League Two pacesetters Barnet. Maybe we’ll bump into Luke Medley!