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The Voice - Match preview Mansfield Town vs Bradford City Saturday 2nd September 2023 3:00pm

Discussion in 'City Talk' started by The Voice, Aug 30, 2023.

  1. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
    The Voice

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    CityMansfield.jpg

    EFL LEAGUE TWO FIXTURE #6


    Saturday 2nd September 2023 15:00
    Mansfield Town vs Bradford City
    Field Mill

    22/23 Results:

    08 Nov 2022: Mansfield Town 1 – 2 Bradford City
    04 Feb 2023: Bradford City 1 – 1 Mansfield Town

    Head-to-Head Form: DWLWW

    Won: 28
    Drawn: 18
    Lost: 24

    Biggest Margin of Victory:

    10 Mar 1962: Bradford City 6 – 1 Mansfield Town

    Current Form:

    Bradford City: DWLDW
    Mansfield Town: DWDDW

    MANSFIELD TOWN

    Mansfield Town fans will be happy enough with their start to the season, having not lost a game in either league or cup, and boasting a 100 % home record. Victories over Grimsby Town (2-0, EFL Cup), Morecambe (3-0), and Stockport County (3-2) are nothing to sniff at as far as the offerings from Field Mill go, and while they've drawn all 4 of their away games, one of those draws came against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday Night, and the Stags duly won the resulting penalty shoot out.

    If there have been any moans and groans, throwing away a 2-0 lead against Crewe Alexandra in the first game of the season and coming away with a draw (and a red card) is probably chief among them, while the club has shown more resilience in their other away games, coming from a goal down no fewer than 4 times to snatch a further three draws.

    Like Bradford City, Mansfield Town have spent more time on the road than they have at home, but their schedule will achieve parity this weekend – whereas for Bradford City, they will have played six of their eight league and cup games away from home. An astonishing statistic.

    Going behind has been a particular fault of Mansfield's this season, but Nigel Clough has instilled a real resilience in his players, and their victory this Saturday despite going behind twice at home to Stockport County was well-deserved. Mansfield managed 63 % of possession, and managed far more attempts on goal: 11 on target, and a further 6 off target, to Stockport's 3 on target, 1 off target. Davis Keillor-Dunn is the man on form in front of goal, having notched 5 goals already, while striker Rhys Oates has bagged another 3.

    Goals haven't exactly been hard to come by for Mansfield, with 14 goals from their opening 7 league and cup fixtures, a healthy average of 2 goals scored per game – at the other end, while Mansfield did manage a pair of clean sheets in the Grimsby and Morecambe games, they have also shipped a fair few in that time: 8, to be precise.

    Such statistics are not entirely dissimilar to those posted by Crewe Alexandra, particularly the free-scoring and the undefeated factors, but Mark Hughes' men were able to shut Crewe down at home, and will have hopes of similarly shackling Nigel Clough's men this weekend.

    The bookmakers have duly acknowledged Mansfield's very positive start to the season, installing them as clear favourites to beat Bradford City this Saturday, and that's always likely when you're winning all of your home games. Coming away from Hillsborough with a spot in the EFL Cup third round won't help morale, either, and an equalising goal with just 5 minutes remaining sent Stags' fans into raptures. Goalkeeper Christy Pym then donned his superhero cape with saves from Will Vaulks and Liam Palmer to oust the Owls.

    Naturally, this wasn't a game that favoured Mansfield statistically, but nobody in the Nottinghamshire district is likely to lose sleep over that!

    Nigel Clough acknowledged that revenge was sweet with that win over Wednesday; last season the Owls knocked the Stags out of the FA Cup with a narrow 2-1 win, with Clough and company feeling particularly hard done to. They've put that right now, though, will similarly seek revenge against Bradford City after failing to win either home or away against the Bantams.

    BRADFORD CITY

    Field Mill has been a happy hunting ground for Bradford City lately, with 3 wins from their last 3 visits – but Mansfield certainly hadn't enjoyed the run of form at home when the two sides met last season, having registered just 1 win in their previous 6 home games. That's not something Bradford City could control, though, and their perfect run of form this season is just another target for the Bantams to try and shoot at.

    Bradford City's EFL Cup triumph over potential promotion rivals Wrexham on Tuesday night came after another 1-1 draw in an away tie in the EFL Cup, and another penalty shoot out win to boot. Wrexham pushed City into sudden death, unlike first round opponents Accrington Stanley, who capitulated at the penalty spot netting just 1. Evidently Mark Hughes has had his City side practising penalties, as his players have found the net on all but 1 occasion!

    Daniel Oyegoke was the culprit on Tuesday night, but Jamie Jones saw his spot kick denied by goalkeeper Harry Lewis, and with Luke Young having earlier missed the target, that was enough to send City into the draw for (hopefully) a big club in the next round.

    Now for the negativity: Bradford City have not yet won any of their away fixtures this season in either league or cup based on a 90 minute game. 3 draws and 2 defeats have the Bantams as low as 12th in the EFL League Two table, despite their cup success. That's particularly painful given the quite frankly near-unfair schedule that has been handed to Mark Hughes and his players.

    6 away games from the opening 8 games of the season is extremely unlucky. That said, City have gone to some tough places like Accrington Stanley (League One last season), Stockport County (promotion favourites) and Wrexham (another promotion favourite), and held their own in each game. Against Crawley Town on the opening day of the season, some questionable officiating had City playing most of the game with 10 men, so that leaves Morecambe as the sole shocker so far.

    A 3-0 drubbing at Derek Adam's Shrimps wasn't even particularly flattering to the seasiders, who trounced City and left a red-faced Hughes demanding better from key players such as Richie Smallwood. By all accounts, then, Smallwood has responded positively, putting in a solid shift as a substitute against Crewe Alexandra in a 1-0 win, and again at Wrexham where he was restored to the starting line up in the absence of Kevin McDonald.

    Andy Cook was not used at Wrexham, but that didn't stop City scoring after 3 minutes, Tyler Smith converting a penalty after just 3 minutes when Jamie Walker was impeded by Aaron Hayden. Walker, Pattison and Smith each played their part in a fine win over the Dragons, backed of course by their superstar owners. Bobby Pointon made a positive impression off the bench, further cause for optimism for Bantams fans, while Adam Wilson came off the bench (and converted a spot kick) in his Bradford City debut following his transfer for an undisclosed fee from Welsh league side TNS.

    Strength in depth now seems to be a bonus for a Bradford City side that have at times looked leggy early on in the season, and who have been accused of underperforming in certain games. The introduction of Brad Halliday, Liam Ridehalgh, and Emmanuel Osadebe into the first XI did nothing to derail the Bantams, as they continued on their EFL Cup course at the expense of former manager Phil Parkinson, who famously led the Bantams to Wembley for the EFL Cup final a full decade ago.

    Whether Mark Hughes can manufacture such a feat remains to be seen – but with a few more positive results, what initially looked like a disappointing start to the season could soon become a reasonable foundation on which the Bantams could build their league campaign.

    What's more, there's a sense that City haven't really got going. For those of a 'glass half full' disposition, that might be cause for positivity. Bradford City have started this season hard to beat (except in the Morecambe game), and have picked up a couple of decent draws on the road. At home, like Mansfield Town, they're perfect so far. If they improve on that, they will inevitably climb the table.
     
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  2. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
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    CityMansfieldLong.jpg

    THE BREAKDOWN


    Mansfield Town: 19/20
    Draw: 5/2
    Bradford City: 14/5

    On paper, it looks cut and dry.

    Mansfield Town win their home games, Bradford City don't win their away games.

    Of course, football is never that straight forward, and just like when Crewe Alexandra visited Valley Parade at the weekend, those naturally expecting a glut of goals for the free-scoring, undefeated away side must have raised an eyebrow at full time as the Bantams recorded their first clean sheet of the season instead.

    It wasn't the best game by any means, but it was what Bradford City needed as a response to that abysmal performance on the West coast. Heading to Wrexham thereafter and, in similar fashion to the Stockport County away game, starving their opponents of a lead at any time in the game, is equally impressive. Both sides had to rally back for second half equalisers, as the City defence proved they were no mugs.

    A similar performance will be needed at Field Mill this weekend, and there are some indications Bradford City might be able to come away with at least a point. Lucas Akins, Davis Keillor-Dunn, and Rhys Oates are proving a deadly strike force for Mansfield, but at the back the Stags have been much less settled.

    Bradford City fans might be surprised to note that former Bantams striker Jordan Bowery is now a converted defender, having started games at both right back and centre back for Nigel Clough, while only Aden Flint has started as many as 6 of 7 league and cup fixtures. The 6'6 former £7 million man was brought in by Mansfield Town in the Summer, and at 34 has the experience to lead the back line – but there has still been a decent amount of chopping and changing, particularly with defender Calum MacDonald getting sent off in Town's opener at Crewe Alexandra.

    Goalkeeper Christy Pym joins settled midfield players Louis Reed and Stephen Quinn as ever-presents in the league, while George Maris looks to have won his place back from Aaron Lewis.

    Bradford City will want to get at that Mansfield Town defence, then, while trying to put the stoppers on Keillor-Dunn (5 goals from 5 league games), and former Burton Albion teammate Lucas Akins (3 goals in league and cup). Unfortunately for Bradford City, they happen to be Keillor-Dunn's favourite opponents! With an overall playing record of 5 wins, 2 draws and just 1 defeat against the Bantams, the ex-Wrexham man has also netted 3 times. A boogeyman for the Bantams, perhaps?

    All of that said, Mark Hughes will have his players focussed and ready to raid Field Mill one more time. A happy hunting ground in recent years, Bradford City will seek out their fourth successive away win in Mansfield, even if it looks a tall order this early in the season.

    No doubt many City fans would take a draw right now, but that's not the prediction here. A defeat will give the more pessimistic City fans more cause for alarm, but with a run of games at Valley Parade coming up (Grimsby, Harrogate, Walsall and Swindon all before mid-October), Bradford City could still redeem themselves and establish themselves as promotion favourites once again.

    But perhaps not this weekend...

    PREDICTION:

    Mansfield Town 2 – 0 Bradford City
     
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  3. bantam65

    bantam65 Important Player
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    Bet placed @17/2.
     
  4. Jordan

    Jordan Impact Sub

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    Tough one on paper, take a point right now as they'll be confident after getting past Wednesday and they've won 3 from 3 at home whilst scoring 8 so far this month. But we ended Crewes unbeaten start to the season, why not add one more? Keilor-Dunn always seems to score past us, hopefully we can keep him quiet.

    Might be a decent time to play Mansfield. Saw their highlights of the Stockport game, two of their goals are avoidable by a team that can close down. Their defending is slack for Stockports first and Flint gets bullied for the 2nd on a set piece. They are having a central defender crisis at the moment, few out including Alfie Kilgour, probably their best one who is out for the season. Flint looks like he'd lose a race to Stubbs from the bits I've seen of him, he was partnered by striker Jordan Bowery in defence last Saturday. They've brought in Brunt on loan from Leicester to play CB who hasn't much experience, looks tall but slight, might be a good game for our pacey lads to run direct.
     
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  5. Bumblebee_Tuna

    Bumblebee_Tuna Impact Sub
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  6. Ulysses S Grant

    Ulysses S Grant Squad Player
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    Anything less than a point and it doesn't matter if we play like Brazil in 1970. Encouraging performances won't get us promoted and your encouraging performance could be my played like pants, so it's far too subjective.
     
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  7. NorthernMonkey

    NorthernMonkey Squad Player
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    Consistently good performances will get you promoted eventually and probably a lot quicker than being poor in most games and nicking points here and there.

    I'd say we've been reasonably poor in every game bar Stockport so far and in those 4 games we've yeilded 6 points which imo is about right so anyone believing we can nick another 25ish wins with these performances is more than likely going to be disappointed.

    At some point, if we're to achieve our aims, the performances simply have to improve and probably improve significantly.
     
  8. Bumblebee_Tuna

    Bumblebee_Tuna Impact Sub
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    Its unrealistic that a team could go the whole season playing teams off the park and continuously being on the wrong end of results. That's never been my point though anyway. My point is that at this stage of the season, it's performances rather than results that are an indicator of future projections. The bookies rely on this approach for their forecasts.

    You're right about performance being subjective but I don't think there'd be huge disagreement..

    Crawley 5/10
    Colchester 6/10
    Stockport 7/ 10
    Morecambe 2/10
    Crewe 4/10
     
  9. borderlescott

    borderlescott Squad Player

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    Teams playing well record good underlying numbers (*cough* xG *cough*) and usually come good eventually.

    Teams playing badly, posting bad underlying numbers, tend to get found out unless they can maintain clinical ruthlessness - that was us last year really as Cook scored some insane goals and single handedly got us into the playoffs.

    ive not seen our xG this year. I’d be interesting to see what is shows…..
     
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  10. Bumblebee_Tuna

    Bumblebee_Tuna Impact Sub
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    We are about 10th according to most compilers.

    https://footystats.org/england/efl-league-two/xg

    On current performance I'd say 10th is a reasonable forecast.

    Interestingly Stockport are near the top of the table which makes sense considering the performances we've seen so far.
     
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  11. borderlescott

    borderlescott Squad Player

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    cheers for the link.

    stockport were great on xG last year too. I thought they deserved to beat us tbh. When wootton returns sure they’ll be up there.theyve had a tough start with us, Gills and Mansfield.
     
  12. QCFC BANTAM

    QCFC BANTAM Regular Starter
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    Settle for a point right now, at least it wouldn't spoil what should be a good day out on the Dolly bus....
     
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  13. Chrisako

    Chrisako Squad Player
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    I have 3 Spare Adult tickets for this game - if anyone is interested or wants them at face value let me know.
     
  14. Jordan

    Jordan Impact Sub

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    Interested to see what happens with Stockport. Challinor had an interview with Charlton yesterday. Dont know if he's going to join in time to make any moves in the window, but I could see guys like Wootton joining him in at Charlton come Jan.
     
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  15. Doodle

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    See, I think how bad our performances have been (other than Morcambe, of course) have been overplayed somewhat... against Crewe we struggled to get the ball for 30 mins of the first half but stopped them from creating any chances with their possesion and came out of it 1-0 up, then in the 2nd half we completely dominated them and should have added one or two more... they didn't lay a glove on us the whole half untl injury time. It was hardly vintage but how is that a 4/10 performance? Solid 6/10

    Against Crawley we were 10 men down most of the match without conceding, only conceding from a free kick which should really have been save and actually having more shots than they did despite that but, more importantly, they should have been down to 10 before we were when their player legged Pattison on the break after already being booked - that happens and we probably go on to win and are sat level with autos now.

    Still improvements to be made and the new system to be got used to but we've not been nearly as bad as people have been making out*

    *Other than Morcambe, where we were truly gash
     
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  16. Idlebantam

    Idlebantam Squad Player
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    I read somewhere that Challinor had turned down Charlton yesterday
     
  17. Jordan

    Jordan Impact Sub

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    Ahh interesting! I'd only seen that he was the final interview after Cowley and Appleton had theirs on Wednesday.
     
  18. Park bantam

    Park bantam Regular Starter
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    Always thought Flint was a very good player
     
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  19. SteveC

    SteveC Squad Player
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    I recall reading a comment from a Leyton Orient fan at the back end of last season. He said they were far from a great team playing fantastic football every game, more a case of the best of a poor league
     
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  20. NorthernMonkey

    NorthernMonkey Squad Player
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    Not once have I ever mentioned "fantastic football". That's where people get mixed up when you criticise poor performances.

    We're not going to be Barcelona and blow teams away, no one is and that's really not what anyone is suggesting when they believe we need better performances.
     
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