Stuart McCall’s Bantams travel to Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena this Sunday (30 April 2017) for their final league match of the season before next week’s Play-Offs.
Ahead of the League One encounter with Dale, www.bradfordcityfc.co.uk takes a look at some of the talking points this weekend…
1. Play-Off spot secured….but which spot?
Last Saturday’s convincing victory over AFC Wimbledon helped to secure City’s spot in the end-of-season Play-Offs for the second year in succession. Going into this Sunday’s final fixture of the regular league campaign though, McCall’s men still don’t know their opponents for the semi-finals. Sitting in fifth ahead of the trip to Rochdale, the Bantams could still finish fourth, or even third, depending on results on Sunday. The Play-Off semi-finals are due to be played Thursday (4 May) and Sunday (7 May) next week, with fourth in the league table playing fifth and third playing sixth. The lowest ranked teams – fifth and sixth – will be at home first.
2. Large away backing
After recent large away followings at Scunthorpe United, Bury and Sheffield United, McCall’s side are set to be backed by another big support at Rochdale on Sunday. With the away end at the Crown Oil Arena now sold out, around 3,500 City fans are set to make the journey to Lancashire.
3. Big game for Rochdale
While City managed to secure their spot in the Play-Offs last weekend, opponents Rochdale could still join the Bantams in the semi-finals if final day results go their way. Rochdale need to defeat City at the Crown Oil Arena and hope play-off rivals Southend United and Millwall both don’t win. That combination of results would see Dale move into sixth and take the final play-off berth.
4. Keeping up momentum?
City will head into Sunday’s game at Rochdale having won four out of their last five games, the loss at Sheffield United on Easter Monday also being the only time in that run when the Bantams have conceded a goal. Although their spot in the Play-Offs is now confirmed, City would surely love to claim another success at Rochdale to keep that winning feeling going into next week’s semi-finals. The Bantams will also be keen to keep up an encouraging recent run at Rochdale. City have won on both of their previous two trips to Spotland since Dale’s promotion back up into League One in 2014.
5. Injury returns?
Following a positive week on the training ground, there is the possibility going into the Rochdale game that either Matthew Kilgallon or Alex Gilliead, or even both, could make their return from injury at the Crown Oil Arena. Kilgallon has been sidelined since January after damaging his shoulder, while Gilliead suffered a tear in hamstring back in March. It is hoped that at least one of them could be involved in some way in City’s match-day eighteen for the Dale fixture. This Sunday’s game could also be a special one for skipper Romain Vincelot, the Frenchman will have started every league fixture for City in the regular campaign if he is named in McCall’s starting line-up at the weekend.
P.S - Please don't forgot that the game is scheduled to kick off on 12noon Sunday!