ROCHDALE (HOME), Saturday 12 November 2016, Sky Bet League One, Northern Commercials Stadium, kick off 3:00pm
After two successive cup matches, Stuart McCall's Bantams return to league football this Saturday when they entertain Rochdale at the Northern Commercials Stadium.
Recent losses to Accrington Stanley and Morecambe in the Emirates FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy respectively might have been far from ideal but City's league form is positive going into the weekend.
The Bantams scored six times and picked up four points from their two most recent league fixtures before the mini break for cup action.
The two results were all the more impressive considering the fact that City's two opponents, AFC Wimbledon and Sheffield United, were right at the top end of the form chart at the time.
Opponents Rochdale will come to Valley Parade in seventh spot in the League One table, sitting just outside the play-off spots on goal difference alone.
A narrow home victory over Oldham in the league a fortnight ago got Rochdale back to winning ways following back-to-back away defeats at Coventry City and Swindon Town.
Ahead of the loss at Swindon, Rochdale had enjoyed a six-match winning streak in the league, a run which pushed them up the table after a relatively slow start to the season previously.
In the FA Cup last weekend, Rochdale needed a free-kick leveller from Callum Camps in the final seconds of injury time to clinch a home replay against non-league Maidstone United.
A much-changed Dale side then secured their spot in the knock-out stages of the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday with a 2-1 win at Hartlepool United.
The Hartlepool match saw Rochdale hit the headlines for all the right reasons when they named young supporter Joshua McCormack in their match-day squad.
Five year-old Joshua has sadly been diagnosed with terminal cancer, leading the Lancashire club to throw their support behind the youngster.
After making a number of changes to his side for the club's two recent cup games, City boss Stuart McCall could be tempted to recall some of his senior squad players back into the starting XI.
The likes of skipper Romain Vincelot, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Nicky Law and James Hanson may all be brought back into the Bantams' line up for the visit of Rochdale.
Haris Vuckic did his chances of staying in the side no harm at all on Wednesday night, however, after his impressive performance and two goals at Morecambe in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Vuckic required a couple of stitches after receiving a cut on his foot during the second period at the Globe Arena but he is expected to be fit and available for selection for the weekend.
James Meredith also featured in the Morecambe game, playing just under 70 minutes on his comeback match following a recent ankle problem.
Meredith is now expected to be in contention for a place in Saturday's match-day squad.
Tony McMahon isn't likely to be involved though, with the defender continuing to work on his fitness following a troublesome thigh injury.
On this international weekend, Colin Doyle and Josh Cullen have both been called up by the Republic of Ireland.
Doyle is away with the Ireland senior side for their World Cup qualifier in Austria while Cullen joins up with their Under 21s for a training camp and two friendly fixtures in La Manga, Spain.
Dale striker Calvin Andrew will miss out on his side's trip to Valley Parade as he continues to serve his mammoth twelve-match ban for elbowing Oldham defender Peter Clarke during a recent league encounter.
Peter Vincenti (ankle) and Jamie Allen (knee) will be sidelined as well for this Saturday's encounter.
Matthew Lund has been called up by Northern Ireland, meaning he too will be absent for Rochdale, while veteran defender Brian Barry-Murphy snapped his Achilles in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win at Hartlepool.
Influential forward Ian Henderson will also be missing through injury.
Dale's injury problems could see youth product Matty Gillam involved once again in their match-day squad.
Gillam netted his first senior goal for Dale during the win at Hartlepool and also recently scored a hat-trick in the FA Youth Cup.
City supporters may remember Rochdale's Joe Bunney after his two goals against the Bantams during last season's 2-2 draw at Valley Parade.
Bunney was playing as an attacker on that day back in February but the tall number 39 has now been converted into a left back for Dale.
The move appears to have worked, with Bunney recently nominated for the October Player of the Month award for League One.
Bantams followers may also recognise one of Dale's attackers on show on Saturday, Steven Davies.
The former City striker, who scored five goals for the Bantams last season, moved to the Crown Oil Arena at the start of this campaign.
Rochdale have enjoyed some recent success on their previous trips to the Northern Commercials Stadium.
In the aforementioned 2-2 draw last season, Bunney's two goals - one in each half - twice gave Dale the lead at Valley Parade.
Davies, ironically now a Rochdale player of course, secured a share of the spoils for City with a powerful header from a corner just after the hour mark.
Dale picked up the win from their away match at Bradford during the 2014/2015 season, despite a spirited display from the Bantams.
A goal down and a man down following Jordan Pickford's early dismissal, City more than held their own for the rest of the game, equalising later in the first half through Jon Stead.
Perhaps understandably given their lung-bursting efforts with a numerical disadvantage, City began to tire towards the end, however, and Calvin Andrew's injury time winner cruelly denied the Bantams the chance to claim anything for their heroic efforts.
Dale also secured all three points, this time winning 4-2, when the two sides met at Valley Parade in December 2012.
City's most recent victory on home soil against Rochdale came in the FA Cup when a stunning solo effort from Nahki Wells - a goal that arguably launched his Bradford career - helped the Bantams to a 1-0 win back in November 2011.
Last Time Out (in the league)
Rochdale 1 (Lund 40)
Sky Bet League One
Saturday 29 October 2016
Oldham Athletic 0
Rochdale line up (4-3-3): Lillis; Rafferty, Keane, Canavan, Bunney; Camps, Lund, Cannon (Rathbone 71); Andrew, Davies (Odelusi 88), Mendez-Laing (Thompson 68)
Subs not used: Logan, McNulty, McDermott, Morley
Rochdale's last five (in the league): W - L - L - W - W
Match Official: ROSS JOYCE
This Saturday's fixture will be Mr Joyce's nineteenth game this season as the main match official.
His most recent game came in midweek when he officiated Sunderland's 2-1 win over Notts County in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Cleveland-based referee last took charge of a City game as recently as late August when the Bantams drew 1-1 at home to Oldham Athletic.
Match tickets for Saturday's fixture will be available from the ticket office at the Northern Commercials Stadium right up until kick off (3:00pm) - please click HERE for more information.
Supporters can purchase adult tickets at the pre-match rate of £20.00 up until 5:00pm this Friday (11 November 2016). Adult tickets bought on match-day will cost £25.00.
All of the necessary pre-match stadium access details for Saturday's fixture can be found HERE
Big Screen Debut
Look out for the club's new big screen to be in action officially for the first time ahead of kick off on Saturday!
The big screen is located between the Northern Commercials Stand and T L Dallas Stand at the stadium.
The screen will keep fans up to date with the latest news and views around the club, including the pre-match thoughts of Stuart McCall and his squad.
With this Saturday's fixture falling in between Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, the club will take the opportunity to remember the fallen from previous conflicts around the world.
City kit man John Duckworth, a former serviceman, will lay a special wreath made out of poppies on the centre circle as the two teams come out onto the pitch ahead of the match.
There will be a period of silence just before kick off while both sides will wear poppies on their match shirts.
The official match-ball will also feature a poppy on it as well.
Back the Bantams with Sky Bet
City supporters can back Stuart McCall's Bantams with Sky Bet when they entertain Rochdale this Saturday.
.9/4 to pick up all three points against Dale at the Northern Commercials Stadium. The draw is currently priced at 11/10McCall's men are available with the EFL's title sponsors at
to score the opening goal.5/1, while Billy Clarke is also currently at 8/1The Bantams can be backed to win 2-0 at
to score at anytime throughout the match.9/2Nicky Law is
City fans can place their bets for the Rochdale fixture by clicking on the following link -
There are as many as 69 different betting options with Sky Bet for Saturday's game.
Please note, all odds are subject to change.
For those unable to get to the Northern Commercials Stadium this Saturday afternoon, City supporters can follow live updates from the Rochdale fixture via the club's official Facebook and Twitter pages.Coverage
Full audio match commentary of the Rochdale match can be found via Bantams Player HD. Join Pulse 2's Jason Thornton and Chris Cooper for match action and reaction from the game.
Bantams Player HD is also the place for post-match interviews from McCall and his players, plus extended match highlights over the weekend.
Supporters can subscribe to Bantams Player HD for as little as £4.49 per month.
The official website, Twitter and Facebook pages will also have post-match reaction from the City camp following the Rochdale game.
Bantams Player HD