The Bantams travel south to Peterborough United’s ABAX Stadium this Saturday (13 August 2016) in search of their first victory of the season. It’s a first league away day for the supporters from West Yorkshire as they prepare to see their team come up against a side in free scoring form, even at this early stage.
Graham Westley departed in the summer and the club acted fast to fill the managerial vacancy left by the former Stevenage and Preston North End boss. Grant McCann was the man appointed by Peterborough’s chairman Darragh MacAnthony.
The 36 year old Belfast-born manager had a spell in caretaker charge a couple of seasons ago and he was given the chance to prove himself again by a man who played his part in bringing him to the club as a player.
A popular figure at the ABAX Stadium, McCann enjoyed some great times as a Posh player during a five-year tenure.
As always, with the budget and squad at their disposal, Peterborough will be expected to challenge for a place in the play-offs at least following what was an ultimately disappointing campaign last time out.
United lost key man Jon Taylor to Championship Rotherham United over pre-season but they have also signed astutely in the window. Hayden White arrived on a free transfer from Bolton Wanderers after spending last season on loan at relegated Blackpool. He bolsters the defensive ranks alongside Ryan Tafazoli and Andrew Hughes, who arrived from Mansfield Town and Newport County respectively.
The club have managed to retain the service of starlet Jermaine Anderson and attacking midfielder Marcus Maddison, who are both expected to feature this weekend. The attack department has also been equipped well in the off-season, with the arrival of Paul Taylor after returning to Peterborough following a spell out of the game.
Head to Head:
Meeting between these two sides have become quite frequent in recent years after a few years away from each other’s attention due to United’s rapid rise to the Championship under the guidance of Darren Ferguson.
City’s last visit to London Road, or the ABAX Stadium as it is now known for sponsorship purposes, proved quite profitable, returning the largest away win of the 2015-16 season for Phil Parkinson’s side. James Hanson had the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time before Kyel Reid drilled in the second approaching the hour mark.
The visitors, who had exited the FA Cup on penalties at the hands of Premier League West Brom earlier in the week fell further behind to Hanson’s second, a powerful header before Steven Davies wrapped up an emphatic victory when he diverted Tony McMahon’s shot into the net past Ben Alnwick.
The win went some way to avenge City’s home defeat to Peterborough earlier in the season; in that one two goals in the space of a minute handed the visitors the victory, with Lee Angol and Chris Forrester on target for Graham Westley’s side.
Josh Cullen made his first debut for City in last season’s crushing London Road victory and he looks set to make his second debut for the club in exactly the same location. Timothee Dieng and Nathan Clarke remain on the side lines which is likely to mean Romain Vincelot retains his place in central defence with youngster Daniel Devine set for a third successive start in central midfield.
In his pre-match press conference, Stuart McCall also hinted at another casualty in the squad, so there could be at least a couple of changes to the team that were beaten on penalties at Accrington Stanley during the week.
Tom Nichols could be pushing for a start up front for the hosts after coming off the bench to score a brace during the mid-week EFL Cup 1st round victory against AFC Wimbledon.
Chris Forrester picked up a knock during the week and Posh boss Grant McCann was hopeful that he’d be fit enough to feature against the Bantams this weekend.
Darren Handley will be in charge for this one, the Lancashire based referee set to take charge of his third game of the season. He officiated Coventry City’s late defeat to Swindon Town on the opening day of the season before taking charge of Oxford United’s EFL Cup victory at Birmingham City on Tuesday evening.
Handley was the referee for City’s home defeat to Gillingham last August, with the visitors coming from behind to record a 2-1 victory after James Hanson had opened the scoring.
Here are the latest betting odds provided by the English Football League’s official betting partner, Sky Bet:
Peterborough United – 6/4
Draw – 23/10
Bradford City – 7/4
James Hanson scored twice in last year’s victory at Peterborough United; he’s 6/1 to be the first goal scorer tomorrow afternoon and 10/1 to score a brace.
You can listen to full match commentary on Bantams Player HD with Pulse 2 Matchday Live’s Jason Thornton and Chris Cooper providing it.
You can also follow our live updates via our official Facebook and Twitter social media channels, on there we will also bring you post-match reaction from Stuart McCall, with the full interview as always, available on Bantams Player HD.
You can read our full match report on the website also. A polite reminder, we have our new official mobile app - www.officialbradfordcityapp.com - to use as well!
If you can’t make it to the ABAX Stadium tomorrow for City’s first league away fixture of the 2016/17 season, don’t worry we have you covered!