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The Voice - Match preview Bradford City vs MK Dons Tuesday 13th February 7:45pm

Discussion in 'City Talk' started by The Voice, Feb 11, 2024.

  1. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
    The Voice

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    CityMKDons2.jpg

    EFL LEAGUE TWO FIXTURE #32


    Tuesday 13th February 2024 19:45
    Bradford City (14th) vs MK Dons (6th)
    University of Bradford Stadium (AKA Valley Parade)

    23/24 Result:

    24 Oct 2023: MK Dons 4 – 1 Bradford City

    Head-to-Head Form: LWWDW (most recent result first)

    Won: 10
    Drawn: 1
    Lost: 6

    Current League Form:

    Bradford City: WDLDD
    MK Dons: WLWWL

    MK DONS

    MK Dons played Bradford City for the first time in over 5 years this past October at Stadium MK and cruised to a 4-1 win that could have been translated to an even more comfortable scoreline. As it was, MK Dons (under new manager Mike Williamson) cruised past Bradford City, ripping the Bantams’ back line apart seemingly at will. Sam Stubbs and Ash Taylor both put in nightmare performances that left Bradford City fans dejected – and effectively brought any consideration of Kevin McDonald becoming a permanent fixture in the Bradford City dug out to an end, at least for the time being.

    Mike Williamson’s side will now visit Valley Parade almost 4 months later, and the League Two table looks considerably different. Back in October, Bradford City were sat in 11th position, just 3 points off the play offs. MK Dons, having suffered a severe deterioration under Graham Alexander, sat 18th. Fast forward to today, and MK Dons sit 6th, with a 5 point safety cushion within the play offs. They are 3 points off the automatics. Bradford City, meanwhile, are down in 14th place, having played more games than most of the clubs around them, and a full 7 points off the play offs – and 11 points behind MK Dons.

    The contrasting fortunes of both clubs isn’t solely down to Graham Alexander – but his presence paints an unhappy picture for both clubs. MK Dons will be glad they have moved on to a manager that not only plays football the ‘preferred way’ (at least for their fans) but has got them winning more consistently. In their last 11 games, MK Dons have won 8 times and lost just 3. At home, they are especially good: 6 wins in their last 7 games at Stadium MK is a remarkable run of form, with only Morecambe able to muddy the waters with a 2-1 win back in January. Away from home, MK Dons haven’t been quite as good, however, losing to Barrow and Doncaster Rovers either side of a win at Tranmere Rovers. Against both Doncaster Rovers and Barrow, MK Dons failed to score and, in truth, deserved to lose.

    Against Tranmere Rovers, however, MK Dons were the rightful winners. They enjoyed 65 % possession, and out-did their opponents to the tune of 6:2 shots on target and 13:2 shots off target – statistics reminiscent of their 4-1 thrashing of Bradford City, only this time wayward shooting meant the Dons ‘only’ ran out 2-1 winners at Tranmere.

    Dan Kemp, the main supplier of Jake Young’s goals at Swindon Town, has returned to the MK Dons starting line up having been deemed surplus to requirements by Graham Alexander, and has scored 1 goal in 6 starts. He is, perhaps surprisingly, yet to provide a direct assist, but that hasn’t stopped MK Dons scoring regularly. With 7 goals in their last 4 games (including 1 blank against Barrow), the Milton Keynes-based side are a potent attacking threat. Max Dean (9) leads the scoring charts, with Alex Gilbey (6), Mo Eisa (5), Ellis Harrison (4), former Bantam Jack Payne (4), Jonathan Leko (3), Warren O’Hora (3), and Daniel Harvie (3) all behind. To say MK Dons can score all over the pitch certainly rings true, and they’re also have a slightly superior defensive record to Bradford City to boot.

    A tough game for City, then, against a form side playing attractive football and scoring goals.

    If there is some hope for Bradford City it’s that while MK Dons have the best home record in the division, they are only 11th in the ‘Away’ league table – 3 points behind City but having played 3 fewer games on the road. Oddly, the Dons have only played away 3 times in their last 9 league games, and have won only one of those, their current good form leaning heavily on consistent victories on home soil. Will a cut up pitch at Valley Parade suit them and their fast-paced and incisive attacking style, or hinder them instead?



    MK Dons 2 – 1 Accrington Stanley

    BRADFORD CITY

    Bradford City had not won in 8 league games when they travelled to promotion-chasing Wrexham, who boast the best home record in the division, but wouldn’t you just know it? The Bantams tore up the script and produced a smash-and-grab even having seen top scorer Andy Cook squander a penalty in the 83rd minute. While it looked like Bradford City had snuffed a chance to spring a surprise, that same man – showing tremendous character – kept going and netted with a fine effort after some neat footwork in the box. The goal came in the 90th minute and, realistically, consigned the better team to defeat, much to City’s credit.

    Last week’s article spoke about City’s good defensive record, and that was something they leaned into again as they made it 3 straight clean sheets in all competitions following the horror show at Swindon Town in late January. In the league, neither play off-chasing AFC Wimbledon nor automatic hopefuls Wrexham have breached the City back line, the kind of statistic that good runs are based upon – getting the basics right.

    The story at the other end of the pitch, however, remains pretty much the same. At best a one goal-per-game side, Bradford City still seem like the kind of side that simply won’t win football matches if they happen to concede even a single goal. Unlike their solid defensive record, that isn’t a statistic that endears itself to table climbing runs, even though Graham Alexander did get the team firing back in a fruitful period between November and December of last year.

    Graham Alexander will now point to the fact that Bradford City have only lost once in their last 7 outings in both league and cup, and continue to progress well in the EFL Trophy with a pair of wins overlooked by the League Two table. 0-0’s, 1-0 wins and 1-1 draws haven’t exactly ignited the passions of the Bradford City faithful, but a good win over Wrexham and legendary former City manager Phil Parkinson will not harm anyone’s confidence.

    Now what is needed more than anything, though, is a run of performances at home. Valley Parade hasn’t seen a home league win since November 25th, when Accrington Stanley were edged out 1-0. Before that, it’s right back to October 7th for another 1-0 win over Swindon Town, with 1-0 and 2-1 wins over Crewe Alexandra and Colchester United respectively completing the set that includes just 4 league wins on home soil.

    Blowing teams away this Bradford City side certainly is not, and there hasn’t been any tangible improvement since switching from Mark Hughes to Graham Alexander, either. It’s been a thoroughly miserable season for the long-suffering home support, and a string of 5 home games in their next 6 in both league and cup doesn’t whet the appetite quite like it should. What would ordinarily be seen as a tremendous opportunity to get much-needed points on the board might be viewed with real trepidation.

    If City cannot perform at Valley Parade, having so many home games concentrated together like that could be more of a negative than a positive. If we could fast forward to March 5th after the Doncaster Rovers game and see how many points City are able to pick up (outside of the Wycombe Wanderers tie in the EFL Trophy, of course), we would have a much better idea of what the mood might be around Valley Parade, Stefan Rupp, Ryan Sparks, Graham Alexander and the players. Will the gloom have lifted slightly, or will this be another season consigned to the wastepaper basket?

    MK Dons might not be the easiest side to start that run of home games against, but is there such a thing as an easy team to beat at Valley Parade this season? It certainly doesn’t feel like it…



    Wrexham 0 – 1 Bradford City
     
    Johnny Yen and king karl like this.
  2. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
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    THE BREAKDOWN

    5/4: Bradford City
    13/5: Draw
    2/1: MK Dons

    Bradford City aren’t great at home. They have won just 4 of their 14 league games at Valley Parade this season, but they’ve only lost 3 of them. Draws have, unfortunately, been the most consistent outcome at on home soil for the Bantams, with a full 50 % of league fixtures ending in some kind of stalemate. Goals don’t flow freely either. 15 scored and 16 conceded in 14 games paints a side that can be mostly expected to grind out endless 1-1 scorelines. It’s no wonder the home support is so despondent. Yes, it could be worse – those draws could be defeats – but that’s scant consolation for a club that fully expected to be involved in a promotion push.

    MK Dons aren’t great away from home. They have won 5 times from their 14 away days, drawing 3, and losing 6. They have seen a decent number of goals, though, with 21 scored and 22 conceded, pretty much 1.5 goals both for and against per game.

    When it comes to this particular tie, factoring in the 4-1 pasting the MK Dons gave Bradford City in October is a must – but it doesn’t feel like a repeat is necessarily on the cards here. Graham Alexander has now installed himself in the Valley Parade dug out and will want a measure of revenge against his former employers, who dropped him unceremoniously due to a poor run of form and a difference of opinions over the style of football employed.

    There have been no such qualms from Bradford City and their CEO Ryan Sparks, however, even if elements of the support aren’t always on board with Alexander’s tactics. What Graham should be able to promise, however, is commitment and courage. That’s a minimum expectation, but one that would be quite welcome in games like the one coming up on Tuesday evening.

    If AFC Wimbledon and Wrexham have both failed to net past this City side, perhaps MK Dons might, too. Does that speak to a level of resilience and steel Alexander has instilled in this Bradford City side? Or is it more just that City employ defence-first tactics above creative and stylish attacking play?

    Whatever the case, Bradford City must turn the corner at Valley Parade sooner rather than later. Far more important, even, than morale-boosting wins over sides like Wrexham is leaving a legacy that the home fans can enjoy. Each week over 10,000 City fans pile into Valley Parade desperate for a game they can actually engage with, and most weeks they are badly let down.

    With that in mind, the pick is a narrow defeat. With Bradford City almost able to guarantee a goal scored, the question is what can the opposition do against City’s tight back line? With their goals capable of coming from all angles and a decent tally scored on their road, MK Dons must still be favourites, especially given the way they dismantled the Bantams earlier in the season. Yes, things have changed, and yes the Bradford City backline has tightened up considerably, but is it enough?

    Possibly not. Sometimes it’s less about City and more about their opposition – who are, unfortunately in this case, enjoying very good form. They will hope it translates to a win at Valley Parade despite a mediocre run on the road.

    PREDICTION:

    Bradford City 1 – 2 MK Dons
     
    Johnny Yen and king karl like this.
  3. Bigrod

    Bigrod Captain
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    With less than 36 hours to kick off and no thread started, l guess it is time to start the process off.
    With City’s surprising victory at Wrexham (unless you are @Rogered Tart@Rogered Tart !), then l guess a lot on here are still focusing on that match.
    As it is City at home, with a woeful record this season, of a meagre four wins out of fourteen games, then the prospect of a victory must seem slender. MK Dons are sat in a Play Off place, with four wins out of their last six games.
    Add to that the long term absence of Walker and Pattison and City lack that creative, goal scoring midfielder, who can change a game.
    However GA was the boss down at the franchise and so will know the majority of their players and should be able to use that knowledge.
    The pitch at VP has sadly deteriorated and will not help any neat football on the deck.
    I will go with no great expectations, this is a fixture which is hard to predict. A draw is likely given City’s dour run……but you never know.
     
  4. Kevin1954

    Kevin1954 Squad Player
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    Scuse me! There were several who had us down for a win.;)
     
    Budgie and Bigrod like this.
  5. Kevin1954

    Kevin1954 Squad Player
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    If it’s rained in Bradford as much as it has in EA…..It will be a terrible surface. Won’t be a footy fest!
     
  6. Rogered Tart

    Rogered Tart Regular Starter
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    The pitch will help us immensely against a team wanting to play out from the back. Another city win.
     
    Budgie and Onside like this.
  7. shoatsy

    shoatsy Regular Starter
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    They dicked us at their place
     
  8. chris mac

    chris mac Fringe Player
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    City got a jammy win against Wrexham and we are suddenly promotion contenders again. Our record before Saturday has been dreadful, most of the home games have been shameful.
     
    Budgie, NZBantam, Welshbantam and 6 others like this.
  9. Onside

    Onside Squad Player
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    I agree, playing so soon after a fantastic result at Wrexham, we are now ready for a home run of good results.
     
  10. bailiff bridge bantam

    P.L.22/23 Entrant Euro 2020

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    We’ll split the winnings 50/50.
    IMG_9441.jpeg
     
  11. Rogered Tart

    Rogered Tart Regular Starter
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    I've gone for a treble, Ciaran Clark, Jake Kelly and Richard Greenwood.
     
  12. Petrov

    Petrov Squad Player

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    Best 3 players at the club.
     
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  13. Rogered Tart

    Rogered Tart Regular Starter
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    Joking aside that has to be some of the worst comms I've ever listened to. Definitely on a par with the two Tranmere whoppers.
     
  14. AngryGaz

    AngryGaz Impact Sub
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    Nothing will ever come close to them jokers
     
    Hampshire Bantam likes this.
  15. Petrov

    Petrov Squad Player

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    Makes Andy Kiwomya sound like the best orator in football.
     
    Dennis and Rogered Tart like this.
  16. Rogered Tart

    Rogered Tart Regular Starter
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    I've marked them up for actually getting the players names right. The co Comms at Tranmere quite possibly the most tragic opinion on sport I've ever heard.
     
  17. AngryGaz

    AngryGaz Impact Sub
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    That bad i turned it off i know that thevlocal stations are gonna be a bit biased but my good the Tranmere lot are on another level
     
    Onside and Rogered Tart like this.
  18. Jayteebee

    Jayteebee Impact Sub
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    One of my worst nights of following City, simply dreadful and could have conceded 10.
     
  19. ahar964

    ahar964 Squad Player
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    Who is this "Voice" character who has just hijacked @Bigrod@Bigrod 's thread?

    Seriously though always a massive preview with stats etc. Is it AI ?
     
  20. Loyalbantam

    Loyalbantam Squad Player
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    Yes it was an awful night in a soulless stadium against a fake football club that shouldn’t even exist. Even more reason to dick them tomorrow.

    GA will have them fired up for this 100%.
    It won’t be pretty but I think we’ll win the game.
     

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