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Bradford City (A) match preview

5 April 2019

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Rovers hit the road once again for a Yorkshire derby with Bradford City in Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Rovers will be looking for their third win in a row following back-to-back home wins against Bristol Rovers and Walsall in previous outings.

Bradford on the other hand will be looking to bounce back following a 1-0 defeat away to Charlton Athletic last weekend, with Lyle Taylor’s first-half goal the difference.

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?

Gary Bowyer will be the man in home dugout on Saturday, having signed a new contract during the week ahead of the game. The former Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool boss took charge of the Bantams at the beginning of March following the departure of David Hopkin on a deal that was initially until the end of this current campaign, though he signed a two-year extension on Tuesday.

Since taking charge of the Bantams, Bowyer has overseen five games, winning once and losing the other four, leaving him with a total win percentage of 20 per cent.

Ones to watch

Eoin Doyle

The Irish forward signed an initial two-year deal back in August. After spending time between clubs in his native Ireland, Doyle made a move to Hibernian in 2011, before heading down south to Chesterfield after two seasons with the Edinburgh side. He helped the Spireites to the League Two title in his first season, before guiding them to the League One play-offs the following year after scoring 21 goals in the third tier. Time in the Championship with Cardiff City and Preston North End followed, with loan spells at Portsmouth and then last season at Oldham Athletic during his time with the Lilywhites, before his move to Valley Parade this season.

Richard O’ Donnell

The Sheffield-born stopper joined the Bantams over the summer following his departure from Northampton Town. O’Donnell began with hometown side Sheffield Wednesday, coming up through the youth ranks at Hillsborough, before making a handful of appearances between 2006 and 2012 for the Owls. O’Donnell became an established figure in goal for Walsall over two years between 2013 and 2015, playing 90 games in the league in the Saddlers, being voted their Player of the Year in his final season. Spells with Wigan Athletic, Bristol City and Rotherham United all followed, before a move to Northampton in January, from which he would make the move to Valley Parade, signing a two-year deal.

Jermaine Anderson

The attacking midfielder will need little introduction to Rovers fans having spent the first half of the current campaign on loan at the Keepmoat Stadium. The former England youth international joined Rovers temporarily from Peterborough United, scoring the winner in a 3-2 win away at Rochdale in October, before signing a permanent deal until the end of the season with the Bantams back in January. Anderson had previously spent the best part of seven years with the Posh following his departure from the Arsenal youth academy, helping Peterborough to win the Football League Trophy in 2014.

Who’s the ref?

Dean Whitestone will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday, and you can read more about him here.

Last time out

Rovers came out on top when the two sides met at the Keepmoat Stadium back in September, with a John Marquis scored either side of the break to put his side two goals up before George Miller pulled a goal back for the visitors nine minutes from time.

Tickets for Rovers’ next home Sky Bet League One game with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday April 13 are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Purchase yours now 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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