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Bradford City match preview

21 September 2018

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Rovers return to the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday when they host Bradford City in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers will be looking to build on their recent good form, having picked up a 4-1 victory on the road at Walsall last weekend, with goals from John Marquis, Mallik Wilks, James Coppinger and Matty Blair sealing three points in the West Midlands.

Rovers last home outing saw them defeat Luton Town 2-1, with Blair again on the scoresheet grabbing the opener, before Ben Whiteman’s winner just 35 seconds into the second half sealing the win.

Brief history of Bradford City

Bradford play at the 25,136-capacity Valley Parade stadium, which has been their home since 1903.

Their nickname is the Bantams, which comes from their club colours of claret and amber “resembling a plumage of bantams”.

The Bantams are in their fifth consecutive season in League One, following promotion via the League Two play-offs in 2014, with a 3-0 win over Northampton Town at Wembley Stadium.

Their promotion at Wembley followed their famous League Cup exploits that same season, where they became the first fourth tier team to reach the final of the competition since 1962. Along their way to the final, they defeated Premier League opposition in Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa over two legs in the semi-final, before losing out to Swansea City in the final.

The following season would see them transfer their League Cup exploits to the FA Cup, where they would defeat would-be Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the tournament, before beating fellow Premier League side Sunderland at home en-route to the quarter-final.

Who’s the gaffer?

David Hopkin is the man in charge of the Bantams after being appointed as head coach at the beginning of the month, returning to Valley Parade for the first time in 17 years following a brief spell as a player. Hopkin previously managed Scottish side Livingston, where he guided them from League One to the Scottish Premiership over the last two seasons. He won 63 of his 118 games in charge of Livingston, drawing 21 and losing 34, leaving him with a win percentage of 53.39 per cent.

Ones to watch

Josh Wright

The midfielder joined the Bantams over the summer from Southend United and was immediately installed as skipper upon his arrival. Wright became famous in March 2017 for scoring a hat-trick of penalties whilst at Gillingham against his former side Scunthorpe United. His final season at Gillingham saw him win three accolades at the club’s Player of the Year, including Fans’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year. Wright made international appearances for England during his youth career, playing at every level between under-16 and under-19.

Eoin Doyle

The Irish striker scored 14 goals in League One last season whilst on loan at Oldham Athletic, before joining the Bantams over the summer on a permanent deal from Preston North End. Doyle has an impressive record at this level, having scored 21 goals for Chesterfield during the 2014/15 season, which would see him help the Spireites to the League One play-offs, and he will be looking for another good return during this campaign with his new club.

Ryan McGowan

The Aussie defender is a man with World Cup pedigree, having represented his country at the 2014 edition of the competition in Brazil. McGowan joined the Bantams in January 2018 following his departure from United Arab Emirates side Al-Sharjah. In 2012, McGowan scored in Heart of Midlothian’s 5-1 victory over cross-city rivals Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup final, going on to win the club’s Young Player of the Year at the end of that season.

Last time out

Rovers came out on top in the last meeting between the two sides, with two goals in the last 15 minutes of the game from John Marquis sealing three points over the Bantams in March 2018.

Tickets for Rovers’ Sky Bet League One clash with Bradford City on Saturday September 22 are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office – purchase yours by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.


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