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The Voice - Match preview Walsall vs Bradford City Saturday 20th April 2024 3:00pm

Discussion in 'City Talk' started by The Voice, Apr 17, 2024.

  1. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
    Staff Member The Voice

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    EFL LEAGUE TWO FIXTURE #44

    Saturday 20th April 2024 15:00
    Walsall (8th) vs Bradford City (13th)
    Poundland Bescot Stadium

    22/23 & 23/24 Results:

    03 Sep 2022: Bradford City 2 – 1 Walsall
    07 Mar 2023: Walsall 0 – 0 Bradford City
    30 Sep 2023: Bradford City 1 – 3 Walsall

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

    Won: 19
    Drawn: 23
    Lost: 15

    Current League Form:

    Bradford City: WWDWL
    Walsall: WLLWW

    WALSALL

    Walsall’s 2-1 victory over Swindon Town on Wednesday night reignited hopes of a playoff finish despite recent defeats against Doncaster Rovers and Notts County. Now just 1 point off 7th place Crawley Town and with 8th place Barrow only 3 points ahead, there is some hope for the Midlanders. That defeat against Doncaster Rovers – who have, remarkably, swept away 8 straight sides with a string of top-notch performances – does, however, leave them just 1 point ahead of their South Yorkshire rivals having played a game more.

    But even if Doncaster Rovers do grab a playoff spot thanks to their phenomenal recent form, there remains some hope of Walsall hauling back Barrow – though the current 8-goal advantage in terms of Goal Difference will be very hard to overcome, effectively representing another point as things stand. Add in to the mix that Barrow also have a game in hand (ironically against Bradford City), and it’s a big ask. Results will have to go Walsall’s way, and quite dramatically at that.

    Needless to say, then, nothing less than 3 points will do on Saturday afternoon against Bradford City. A must-win game if there ever was one, manager Mat Sadler will have his players locked in as they attempt to make amends for a poor 22/23 campaign with an unlikely promotion challenge. Key to that challenge have been loanee strikers Freddie Draper, who was recalled by Lincoln City in January, and his replacement Mo Faal, a West Brom player who had spent the first half of the season on loan at Doncaster Rovers.

    The second and third top scorers respectively, Draper (10) and Faal (5) trail only midfielder Isaac Hutchinson (11), a 24 year old who has really found form this season under the guidance of Sadler. Faal, for his part, has been employed more as a substitute than a starter, but has still done well to add to the 9 goals already notched at Doncaster Rovers – and has already matched prolific forward Danny Johnson (5), who has endured an injury hit season at the Bescot Stadium following his free transfer from Mansfield Town last Summer, as well as Jamille Matt (5).

    While Faal, Johnson, Matt and Hutchinson are the most likely goal threats for which Bradford City must prepare, Walsall have got goals throughout their team, with defenders Emmanuel Adegboyega (on loan from Norwich City) and Taylor Allen both on 3 league goals. Midfielder Jack Earing also finds himself on the same mark.

    Walsall are a side that typically operate with less possession than their opponents and have seen less than half of the ball in all of their last 8 league games – even beating Swindon Town with as little as 35.6 %. While even lower possession stats have coincided with beatings at the hands of MK Dons (5-0 L) and Notts County (3-1 L), Walsall are not a side that expect lots of meaningless passes, as was evidenced when they turned over Mark Hughes’ side back in late September. That afternoon Walsall ran out convincing 3-1 winners despite seeing little more than a third of the football.

    Don’t be surprised, then, if Bradford City do get the better of things in terms of getting their foot on the ball, but the situation has been quite different under Graham Alexander – while City have narrowly edged possession in recent games, its not the imperative it was under Hughes, and the style of play is a lot more direct with the ability to mix things up.



    Doncaster Rovers 2 – 1 Walsall

    https://www.skysports.com/football/video/26947/13116932/walsall-2-1-swindon-town-league-two-highlights

    Walsall 2 – 1 Swindon Town

    BRADFORD CITY

    While Walsall have it all to play for (and, in truth, all still to do), Bradford City have been playing with a little bit more freedom of late, winning 3 and drawing another as they picked up 10 points from a maximum possible 12. That’s not bad at all, and Salford City found themselves victims of a turnaround after taking an 18th minute lead through Callum Hendry, only for first Calum Kavanagh and then Brad Halliday to sink the Greater Manchester side.

    That makes it 2 goals in 2 games for converted wing back Halliday, doubling his tally to a respectable 4. What’s more, both goals proved to be the difference maker, as his 43rd minute strike at home against Gillingham was the only goal of the game, and his 86th minute goal at Salford City proved to be the winner. Calum Kavanagh finds himself on 4 goals for the season also, his introduction in January proving a shrewd bit of business. His current goal ratio is 1:2 in terms of starts, and 1:3 in terms of overall appearances.

    Jamie Walker is another semi-regular goalscorer for City with 5, while Andy Cook has been on 15 league goals for the season for the past 4 games.

    This Saturday afternoon, Bradford City will have the chance to knock off another potential playoff contender, much as they did with Gillingham in the game before the Salford City win, as even if results go Walsall’s way it will likely be too little, too late for them should they lose at the Bescot. While that might not seem the greatest of motivators for a League Two game, this City side remain a squad with little credit in the bank after a drawn out, frustrating, and decidedly mediocre campaign. Proving that they can compete now with fringe-contenders like Gillingham and Walsall will stand them in better stead for a Summer that will be overseen by new Head of Football Operations David Sharpe.

    Certainly, there are no signs that Bradford City are being allowed to phone in performances and plan their Summer holidays just yet, as frustrations reached a crescendo among the fanbase following a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Harrogate Town – the fourth abysmal performance in a row at the time. 4 much-improved performances later, and some of the pride has been restored – but will the players be able to carry on producing these higher levels right up until the final league game of the season, the last at home to Newport County?



    Salford City 1 – 2 Bradford City

    THE BREAKDOWN

    11/10: Walsall
    5/2: Draw
    23/10: Bradford City

    While Bradford City’s season is all but over, Walsall have it all to play for, and were able to arrest a 2-game skid on Wednesday afternoon with a 2-1 home win over Swindon Town. A fixture that, in many ways, holds a striking resemblance to Saturday’s home tie with Bradford City, it was interesting to see Walsall overcome a side on good form who have been scoring more freely of late. Bradford City are in a similar boat in terms of form, even if they are 5 places better off than Swindon Town in the league table, and while Swindon Town were able to inflict a hammer blow on play off contenders Barrow with a 2-0 away win, they were unable to replicate the feat at Walsall.

    Bradford City may boast a very creditable win over Gillingham, but will they, in turn, be able to replicate that feat at the Bescot? The omens, frankly, aren’t great for Bradford City. Soundly beaten by a clinical Walsall side back in late September, and with a new hotshot in the form of Mo Faal, it looks likely that Walsall have enough firepower in both the starting lineup and off the bench to make themselves an ever-present threat. Jamille Matt and Danny Johnson are very competent in their own right despite enduring an overall disappointing season, while Isaac Hutchinson enjoys a career-best tally of 11 goals so far.

    Bradford City, by contrast, have an out-of-form Andy Cook as their top goalscorer this season, with players like Tyler Smith, Jamie Walker and Calum Kavanagh being joined by the unlikely Brad Halliday in a four-way battle for second-highest scorer – currently Jamie Walker on a paltry 5. They look to be less of a reliable threat than players like Hutchinson and Faal, and that ultimately could be the difference in a tie between two sides with entirely different motivations.

    The pick will be a 2-1 win for the home side, a victory that should keep Walsall in touch – but they themselves will have to look elsewhere, now, as they seek favours from others…

    PREDICTION:

    Walsall 2 – 1 Bradford City
     
    meelin likes this.
  2. chris mac

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant

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    Walsall 0 .Bradford 0 .
     
  3. Petrov

    Petrov Squad Player

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    We need to win this one. Not because I think we are still in with a chance of making the playoffs, but because we can still ruin someone else's chances of doing so. Petty I know, but it would be nice to be the heartbreaker rather than the heartbroken for once.
     
  4. bantam65

    P.L. 23/24 Top 10 P.L.23/24 Entrant Supporter

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    Bet placed at 8/1.
     
  5. Ulysses S Grant

    P.L. 23/24 2nd Place P.L.23/24 Entrant

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    Unbelievable that we could move within 3 points of the playoffs with a game in hand on all bar Doncaster if we win this and other results go our way. It's sickening to think that the very most points required for a playoff place is going to be 73 and we could finish on 69 if we win all our matches.

    The bottle jobs v Notts County, FGR & Crawley at home have killed us, and it's very possible that if Crawley get the last place that one major bottle job against them will be the reason.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Jayteebee and vin weasel like this.
  6. donhutchinsaffro

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Supporter

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    What I dont understand apart from Algebra, is how we could not even scrape a point against FGR at home? Very poor effort and tactics not good... Chasing Crawley for a result at home was also silly... anyway we move on......Bradford End AKA (Mrs Doyle or Sparky boy) who is coming and going please..... spill ta
     
  7. Manningham bantam

    P.L.23/24 Entrant

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    We learned one thing is not to play Ridehalgh at centre back or even not at all.
     
  8. SteveC

    P.L. 23/24 Top 20 Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Qatar 2022 Entrant

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    We need to win this one because they are pro footballers and they owe it to the fans, particularly those trekking all that way
     
    vladimir, bantamdave41 and Onside like this.
  9. Botswana Bantam

    P.L.23/24 Entrant Supporter

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    They've had a very similar season to us in terms of losing games at the wrong time.

    Always fancy us more away than at home at the moment. Pressure on them to win. Be nice for us to get an early goal and see how it goes.
     
  10. donhutchinsaffro

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Supporter

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    tickets bought and bringing my son thats his punishment for the year.....
     
  11. Craven Koppite

    Craven Koppite Fringe Player

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    bump............

    Game day !
     
    Dennis likes this.
  12. QCFC BANTAM

    P.L. 23/24 Top 30 Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Qatar 2022 Entrant Supporter

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    Down in Willenhall, Duke of Cambridge, with Corn Dolly. Last away trip of the season. Can't wait for the end of the season.....
     
    Bronco, London BCFC and bantamdave41 like this.
  13. bantamdave41

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Euro 2020

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    Safe journey
     
    QCFC BANTAM likes this.
  14. bantamdave41

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Euro 2020

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    Come on you Shaymen. .. taking in Eastleigh v Halifax....

    1-0 to the Halifax
     
  15. QCFC BANTAM

    P.L. 23/24 Top 30 Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Qatar 2022 Entrant Supporter

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    Would love to see the Shaymen back in the league...like a home game for me and my lads...
     
  16. Botswana Bantam

    P.L.23/24 Entrant Supporter

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    Aldershot drawing, which is good for them, but a win for Halifax and it doesn't matter anyway.
     
    Wolfysmith and QCFC BANTAM like this.
  17. bantamdave41

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Euro 2020

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    Could not agree more....just gone 2 nil up
     
  18. Petrov

    Petrov Squad Player

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    Could work out quite nicely for us in terms of loaning a few players out if they don't want to move too far. (I'm looking at you specifically Ash Taylor).
     
    Ulysses S Grant likes this.
  19. Sergio Pinto III

    Sergio Pinto III Squad Player

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    Win today, Sutton beat Crawley and Barrow beat Doncaster then thats a perfect day.

    If Donny beat Barrow and we go there on Tuesday and beat them we still have a chance on the last day.

    A draw between Donny and Barrow wouldnt be a good result though.

    That said, we will probably drop points today now we have an outside chance.
     
  20. bantamdave41

    Euro24 PL Entrant P.L.23/24 Entrant Euro 2020

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