Bradford City v Leeds preview

Intense Yorkshire rivalry will be resumed on Wednesday when Bradford meet near-neighbours Leeds at Valley Parade, or the Coral Windows Stadium as it is now known, in the Capital One Cup.

Last Updated: 27/08/14 at 08:45 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

There should be an incredible atmosphere giving the Bantams the chance to redress the balance having had some disappointing recent results against the Whites.

Four of the last six derbies were played in the top tier; another, in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, attracted 20,000+ to Elland Road; and the last time these teams squared off, in this competition in 2011, Leeds managed a 3-2 win on home turf.

A 6-1 mauling in 2001 apart, these games are close, with Leeds winning four games by one-goal margins, and Stan Collymore’s bicycle kick giving Bradford their only points in the last six fixtures.

From a league perspective, things were going very well for Bradford until they suffered their first defeat of the season at home to Peterborough on Saturday, but a seven-point haul from four games represents a solid if unspectacular start.

James Hanson has notched three goals already and now has Aaron McLean, Mason Bennett and Billy Clarke as potential partners up top with Nahki Wells having moved to Huddersfield in January.

The Bantams’ midfield diamond has also brought some success following wingers Kyel Reid and Garry Thompson, instrumental in the League Cup and promotion exploits of a two seasons ago, moving on.

But the loss of captain Andrew Davies to a broken arm is a huge blow as he is the voice and the organiser in the back four, a back four, I must add, that includes two attack-minded full-backs, in Stephen Darby and Alan Sheehan, who add the width and the crosses Hanson thrives on.

Positive

Leeds, like Bradford, lack natural width – they have done since Max Gradel and Robert Snodgrass left – and I think that will stop them getting a greater goal return from the potentially prolific Billy Sharp.

I brought Billy to Scunthorpe in 2005 and he quickly scored 24 goals that season and 32 the next in a system that gave him more room to operate and to get centre-halves isolated.

Sharp is the best excuse Leeds have had to get excited in a season in which everybody is holding their breath and hoping for a positive outcome.

David Hockaday, as expected, is already under extreme pressure, following a solitary win and Massimo Cellino changed his mind about sacking Hockaday in the wake of the 4-1 defeat to Watford, saying he is as responsible as the manager for the poor results.

There have been a dozen new recruits already, many from other shores, and like Leeds fans I am yet to see any evidence that these players can catapult United into the top 10 let alone the play-off mix.

Wednesday’s game is a battle between one club who seem to have their problem days behind them and another whose chairman is grabbing more headlines than his players.

It seems a long time ago that I was playing alongside Stuart McCall and Dean Saunders against the likes of Mark Viduka, Alan Smith and Olivier Dacourt, so let’s hope the good times return for these two great clubs.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

ypical Bodgers, in desperate need of a defensive midfielder and go for a floaty number 10 type midfielder. BODGERS OUT.

uncle monty
The Home Gossip

B

enteke is an absolute steal for £32.5m, he would get into any team in the world (except Barcelona) at the moment. I've seen many very good strikers in my 30+ years as a Villa fan. This guy is the best without question.

sparkigol
Benteke's £32.5m release clause

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

Footer 365

Inverness 2-1 Falkirk: James Vincent the matchwinner Caley leave it late to clinch Scottish Cup

Inverness Caley won the Scottish Cup for the first time with a dramatic 2-1 victory over spirited Falkirk at Hampden.

Greg Dyke continues attack on FIFA and president Sepp Blatter

FA chairman Greg Dyke is not convinced the 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar as he expects more scandals to come out of FIFA.

Radamel Falcao in transfer talks with Chelsea

Monaco striker Radamel Falcao is speaking to Chelsea about a possible transfer, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company