When rookie manager Lee Johnson arrived at the football club in March 2013, his sole aim was most likely to keep them in League 1 following the resignation of Paul Dickov as manager. He did just that, guiding the club to a 19th place finish. They finished 15th last season and most will probably be expecting a similar placed finish this time around. The aim will be steady progression but they’ve made a flying start to the current season and are currently just outside the play-off positions, Oldham fans will be hoping their side can defy the odds and finish in the top half this season.
Ins and Outs
There have been a whole host of transfers at the club throughout the summer months, but we will mention the most notable bunch. Brian Wilson has arrived from Colchester United to bolster the defensive ranks as well as former Wolves man George Elokobi and former Burnley full back Joseph Mills. Jonathan Forte, who is the club’s top goal scorer, arrived in the summer from Southampton and to back him up in the strike department, Jabo Ibehre has recently arrived on loan from Colchester United.
The Latics lost the services of central midfield duo James Wesolowski and Korey Smith who moved to Shrewsbury Town and Bristol City respectively. Left Back Jonathan Grounds completed a move to Championship outfit Birmingham City, Anton Rodgers moved to Swindon Town and late in the market Jonson Clarke-Harris completed a move to Rotherham United for an undisclosed fee.
Current League Position
Oldham are currently 8th in League One ahead of the weekend’s fixtures and are a point behind Sheffield United who currently occupy the final play-off place. The lofty position comes following a run of form which has seen The Latics go 12 games without defeat since their 1-0 defeat at Preston North End in late August.
Oldham defender George Elokobi (pictured)will continue his spell on the side lines with a thigh injury and is very unlikely to feature against City this weekend. Brian Wilson is likely to make a return to the side but Adam Lockwood will miss out with a foot injury.
Andrew Davies will miss out for City this weekend after limping off injured during the mid-week draw at Bristol City. Stephen Darby will return to the side following his one match suspension after the red card he picked up during the Sheffield United fixture last weekend. James Hanson looks to regain his place in the starting eleven also this weekend after his appearance from the bench in mid-week.
Last Meetings with Oldham Athletic:
Our last meeting with The Latics was as recently as early September; Oldham welcomed City to the SportsDirect.com Park and despite The Bantams probably edging proceedings and having the better of the chances they were dealt a sucker punch as substitute Jordan Bove fired home the winner in the 88th minute to dump City out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at the first hurdle.
The last clash with Athletic was in April at the Coral Windows Stadium and it was the visitors who took all three points. James Wesolowski fired the visitors ahead but Adam Reach’s well taken goal had the hosts level. Jonson Clarke-Harris restored his side’s lead before the break and he scored again before the hour to double the advantage. Gary Jones scored an injury time consolation as the game finished 2-3.
Oldham Athletic’s Recent Form
21/10/14 | Oldham Athletic 4-1 Coventry City | League One | W
18/10/14 | Chesterfield 1-1 Oldham Athletic | League One | D
11/10/14 | Oldham Athletic 2-1 Walsall | League One | W
07/10/14 | Oldham Athletic *2-2 Barnsley | Johnstone’s Paint Trophy | W
04/10/14 | Peterborough United 2-2 Oldham Athletic | League One | D
27/09/14 | Oldham Athletic 3-2 Scunthorpe United | League One | W
*Oldham won 4-2 on penalties
Jonathan Forte is the man in form for The Latics at the moment and a key reason to Oldham’s current run of form. He is currently the division’s second top goal scorer with 10 goals and is proving to be a revelation for Lee Johnson’s men since his summer switch from Southampton. The Sheffield born frontman began his career with Sheffield United in 2003 and spent 4 years on the fringes before a 2007 move to Scunthorpe United. He moved to Southampton for an undisclosed fee in January 2011 linking up with former manager Nigel Adkins. The pacey frontman hardly featured for The Saints and spent time loan with Preston, Notts County, Crawley Town and Sheffield United before his summer move to Oldham; he has really found goal scoring form for his current club and will be The Latics’ main threat on Saturday afternoon.
Ref Watch – David Coote
Coote is the referee for this weekend’s clash with Oldham, and his latest game was Cardiff’s 3-1 home victory against Ipswich Town in mid-week. He refereed Rotherham’s League One Play-Off victory against Leyton Orient. The last Bradford game he was in charge of was the 2-2 draw against Preston North End at Deepdale in October of last year. During the promotion season of 2012-13 season he was in charge of the bizarre 4-2 defeat to Rochdale at the Coral Windows Stadium. Coote is a Nottinghamshire based official.
Sky Bet’s odds for the game are as follows, with them having Oldham Athletic as significant favourites to secure the victory and continue their impressive run of form:
Oldham Athletic – 1/1
Draw – 12/5
Bradford – 11/4