Hope Akpan has spoken of how tomorrow's visit of Liverpool FC comes with a "personal element" – as he and fellow Bantams prepare for their return to the Utilita Energy Stadium.
Born and raised in Liverpool, the City midfielder admits many of his family members are fans of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds and are all looking forward to the contest – in aid of the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.
He said: “I would be lying if I said there was no personal element to the game, for me.
“I was born and raised in Liverpool - and a lot of my family are fans of the club - so it is exciting for me and is a challenge I am going to relish.
“These are the games you dream of playing in as a young footballer, growing up. The fact I am a Liverpool lad adds a bit more to it for me, personally.”
Akpan says standards across the park must be much higher for the Bantams, this coming campaign.
With a sell-out crowd of over 24,000 supporters expected, the former Blackburn and Reading man believes a good indication as to who can handle pressure and rise to the occasion will be provided.
The 27-year-old added: “We are trying to represent a strong team this season, pushing in the right direction in the league.
“We are going to be made to handle a lot of different situations and, with that, comes a lot of pressure.
“I believe such a big game and occasion like this will mentally prepare us for the season ahead.
“We are glad the fans are going to be out there to support us. It should be a full house and all the boys are well up for the challenge.”