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The Voice - Match preview Wrexham vs Bradford City Saturday 10th February 2024 3:00pm

Discussion in 'City Talk' started by The Voice, Feb 8, 2024.

  1. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
    The Voice

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    CityWrexham2.jpg

    EFL LEAGUE TWO FIXTURE #31


    Saturday 10th February 2024 15:00
    Wrexham (4th) vs Bradford City (18th)
    Racecourse Ground

    23/24 Results:

    29 Aug 2023: Wrexham 1 – 1 Bradford City [EFL Cup]
    21 Octo 2023: Bradford City 1 – 1 Wrexham

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

    Won: 34
    Drawn: 17
    Lost: 24

    Current League Form:

    Bradford City: DLDDL
    Wrexham: LLWWL

    WREXHAM

    Wrexham will come into this weekend’s game against Bradford City on their worst form of the season. 3 successive defeats represent the Red Dragons’ worst run of results since April 2021, though it is worth noting that all 3 losses were inflicted on the road, with 1 in the FA Cup against Championship side Blackburn Rovers. That won’t stop the pressure building on manager Phil Parkinson, however, as his side slip out of the automatic promotion places with back-to-back league losses to Salford City and Newport County, both sides in the bottom half of the League Two table.

    In the confines of the Racecourse Ground, however, the picture is much rosier. Wrexham have won 8 straight league games at home, including a 6-0 thrashing of Morecambe back in November. The last team to take a point from Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground was Crewe Alexandra, and even then, the away side had to net 3 times to tie the game in a 6-goal thriller. The only team to beat Wrexham on their own turf in the league this season was MK Dons, and that was on the opening day of the season. That one finished 5-3 to the Bedfordshire side and was one of the games that convinced veteran goalkeeper Ben Foster to retire in the early stages of the campaign.

    Bradford City’s task, then, will be monumental. Only Anfield represents a more impenetrable fortress in the entire English Football League, and even that could prove misleading with Liverpool having played 3 games fewer.

    On a positive note for City, Wrexham goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo happens to be suffering through a calamitous spell. The on loan Arsenal stopper put in a nightmare performance in the FA Cup fourth round, multiple errors allowing Blackburn Rovers to canter away as 4-1 winners. If the pressure of the occasion got to the 22 year old at Ewood Park, he will need a different excuse for flapping at corners at Salford City in a subsequent 3-1 loss – Okonkwo even allowed an Elliot Watt corner to sail over his head and nestle in the back of the net directly.

    But it wasn’t Okonkwo alone who underperformed at Salford. The Red Dragons were comprehensively beaten in truth, with Wrexham scoring with their only effort on target: compared to 9 such efforts from the hosts. Salford City, reborn under Karl Robinson, ran out deserving winners.

    So where does Phil Parkinson’s side go from here? While performances on the road must improve, surely a home fixture has come at just the right time for the Welsh side. Bradford City, their opponents, haven’t won in 8 league games, and while the fixture will have increased sentimental value because of Parkinson’s previous heroics at Valley Parade, Wrexham have to lean heavily on their key players.

    Top scorer Elliot Lee (13) hasn’t scored since before Christmas, and Paul Mullin (10) who spent the early part of the season out injured has drawn 3 straight blanks. Steven Fletcher (6) has a decent tally despite making only 3 starts (13 sub appearances) and scored a hat trick against Barrow on New Year’s Day, while out-of-favour forward Ollie Palmer (5) boasted reasonable stats during Mullin’s absence. Midfielder Jamie Jones (4) is the only other player who boasts more than 2 league goals, though Wrexham have relied on Sam Dalby, Andy Cannon, and Thomas O’Connor for goals in recent times, showing there is real goalscoring threat throughout the Wrexham team.

    Wrexham’s fire power at home is fearsome, and they aren’t a side that rely too much on possession. During home wins against AFC Wimbledon, Colchester United, and Gillingham (3 of their last 6 home league games) Wrexham ceded more than 50 % possession to their opponents. Needless to say, however, in crushing victories over Barrow (4-1) and Morecambe (6-0), Wrexham were well ahead on that particular statistic as well as the one that mattered: the scoreline.

    There is, however, still no escaping Wrexham’s mini-skid. 3 straight defeats is a major anomaly for the Welsh side since Parkinson took over, and to score just 2 goals in that run is likewise unusual. Wrexham are the joint third highest goalscorers in League Two and have been known to steamroller opposition defences when they get on top. Bradford City will have to hope their solid defensive stats hold up here…



    Salford City 3 - 1 Wrexham

    BRADFORD CITY

    Speaking of Bradford City’s solid defensive statistics, 39 goals conceded in 30 games is an above average feat. The 9th meanest defence in the division, Bradford City have conceded fewer goals than Wrexham and Crewe Alexandra, the 4th and 5th best performing sides in the division, and far fewer (15 fewer, in fact) than Notts County who sit in 7th.

    But what has killed Bradford City all season is their goalscoring prowess, or lack thereof. Just 35 goals scored is the 5th lowest in the division, with only the bottom 3 and Gillingham performing worse (yet Gillingham sit as high as 10th in the league table). Graham Alexander managed to produce a spell where City were routinely scoring 2 or more goals, but that 6 game win streak seems like a distant memory now. Even as City have continued their progress in the EFL Trophy, wins over Derby County and Doncaster Rovers have come with a paltry 1-0 scoreline.

    In their last 2 league games against Swindon Town and AFC Wimbledon, Bradford City have failed to find the net. Add in another blank down at promotion-chasing Crewe Alexandra, and that means Bradford City have scored in only 3 of their last 6 league outings. Alexander’s solution last Saturday was to lean into his side’s defensive capabilities by playing an even more defensive side than normal.

    Top scorer Andy Cook was dropped to allowed Jake Young the opportunity to lead the line, with Harry Chapman and Alex Gilliead offering support from the wings. If that doesn’t read like a free-scoring spearhead, then it will be no surprise to see that it resulted in scoring no goals. While Jake Young looked lively and, in truth, Bradford City probably shaded the game, the fact that the Bantams can count an overhit Richie Smallwood free kick as one of their most dangerous attempts on goal speaks volumes. Bradford City tried to address their poor performance in front of goal in January, and bringing back Jake Young from Swindon Town was undoubtedly the right move. When no realistic offers came in, Young was brought back into the team – but he’s likely to need a veteran striker alongside him, like with Charlie Austin at Swindon Town, and a creative dynamo behind him, like Dan Kemp, if he’s to produce the same form.

    Perhaps Young playing alongside Cook with Tyreik Wright or Calum Kavanagh as support is an attempt to recreate that – but time will tell on that score.

    Lewis Richards, meanwhile, has made a welcome return to the starting XI, but it’s bad news for Jamie Walker who, it was revealed on Radio Leeds, has a broken leg. That will be a hammer blow for Graham Alexander and his Bradford City team, but they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves. The season may realistically be over in terms of promotion or relegation prospects, but this is a fan base that turn up in their numbers and expect to be given something to shout about – as all football fans do.

    Graham Alexander must make sure this City side are competitive this weekend in Wales, as it will prove wholly unacceptable to roll over in front of their former legendary manager and the Hollywood-based owners of the club.

    At the minute, though, ‘competitive’ seems to be the most Bradford City fans can expect. Misfiring going forward but tight at the back, this City side might be uninspiring, but they’re certainly tough to beat at times. Back-to-back 1-1 draws against Wrexham from earlier in the season paints its owner picture, and City have supplemented that with a pair of draws against Stockport County. Perhaps when the pressure is really on in those big games, City are able to raise their level to match the opposition.

    A comforting thought, maybe, for those about to make the trip to the Racecourse Ground?



    Bradford City 0 - 0 AFC Wimbledon
     
    Johnny Yen likes this.
  2. The Voice

    The Voice The voice of reason
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    THE BREAKDOWN

    10/11: Wrexham
    13/5: Draw
    3/1: Bradford City

    Wrexham’s incredible home form is the story of this preview, despite a faltering away record that has thrust the Welsh side into their worst losing run (3 games) since the 2020/21 season. That ‘worst run’ is nothing next to Bradford City’s current winless streak that now extends to 8 games, however, even if 5 of those 8 were draws.

    Wrexham, for their part, rarely draw. Their last draw, in fact, was a 2-2 tie away at Harrogate Town, when the Red Dragons let slip a 2 goal lead. That was back in November, and prior to that Wrexham’s last draw was at Valley Parade a full month prior on October 21st. A late Adam Wilson strike cancelled out Paul Mullin’s opener in a game that Bradford City got the better of but in which they found familiar issues in front of goal.

    Those issues seem to have ground down the City faithful at this point. Support won’t be an issue away at the Racecourse Ground, however, as Bantams fans look for their side to raise their game against former manager Phil Parkinson in a game where pride and passion are everything.

    Graham Alexander will likely play on the narrative that Wrexham are wobbling and there to be beaten. Their great record at the Racecourse Ground might make it seem like a fortress, but all good runs come to an end – and 8 straight home wins in the league is a run that cannot go on forever. Hopefully Andy Cook comes back into the side refreshed and recharged after a dip in form, and Jake Young can find his pre-injury form that excited so many during his time at Swindon Town.

    There is a chance here that Bradford City spring a surprise – but with an increasing number of changes creeping into Graham Alexander’s tactics, it’s clear the manager isn’t overly enamoured with the individual performances within his squad. How he lines up against Wrexham isn’t certain, but he might well go for an XI that is as defensively-oriented as that chosen at home to AFC Wimbledon.

    Will it pay off if he does?

    Certainly, Wrexham are big favourites with the bookmakers, and rightfully so. Bradford City may have already gone to the Racecourse Ground and got a result (a 1-1 draw followed by a win on penalties that knocked Wrexham out of the EFL Cup), but this looks an even mightier test now. There’s every chance Bradford City sneak out of Clwyd with a point, but it’s much more likely that Wrexham do what they do so well: win at home.

    The pick is a 2-1 win that gets Wrexham back on track, but also sends Bradford City fans home knowing that, despite their limitations, they gave it there all. They have to. If they don’t, we could be looking at a cricket score.

    PREDICTION:

    Wrexham 2 – 1 Bradford City
     
  3. bantam65

    bantam65 Important Player
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    Bet placed at 15/2.
     
    Bronco and king karl like this.
  4. Wxm80

    Wxm80 Future Prospect

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    Our players took some grief at the end of the Salford game (not deserved in my opinion) from a minority of our fans who were not happy (acting like spoilt entitled brats) so I am expecting/hoping the team selected will be fired up for this to stop our mini rot.
    Calling it that maybe a tad harsh though; We lost at Newport but were down to ten men after 18 minutes, then lost to a Championship team and had an away day stinker at Salford who celebrated like they'd won the league which tells you how up for the game they were.

    Mullin looked angry and he's due a goal and we've not had Palmer or Fletcher available who should both be back. I doubt Parky was pleased either and I would imagine he's read the riot act this week.

    Saying all that teams often raise their game at the Racecourse and we can undoubtedly be got at, that's usually in the form of a fast start and a high intense press, which when I said this on the ticket thread prompted some replies which suggest this isn't a tactic you will or are able to employ. I would imagine your manager will try to Mourinho the game and hope to nick a goal from a set piece. Enjoy the game anyway and have a safe trip. Train travellers may want to take note of this; http://www.redpassion.co.uk/forums/wrexham/123711-wrexham-general-post-match-problems.html

    Oh and by the way the forecast was total crap and we've not had one snowflake fall in north wales, just rain all morning.
     
  5. bantamdave41

    bantamdave41 Regular Starter
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    Thanks for the information on the trains as that is our mode of transport.

    As for the game, I am not confident but as with all things football, I wouldn't be surprising if we got a positive result, as more pressure on your guys than our abyss of a season
     
  6. Loyalbantam

    Loyalbantam Squad Player
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    Pitch inspection tomorrow at 12pm
     
  7. bantamdave41

    bantamdave41 Regular Starter
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    Where's this come from
     
  8. Wxm80

    Wxm80 Future Prospect

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    Its not come from us.
    Can't see it and can't see why they'd inspect the pitch on a Friday lunchtime when the light rain is forecast to stop from 4pm Friday and no rain forecast on Saturday https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2633485
     
    bantamdave41 likes this.
  9. Loyalbantam

    Loyalbantam Squad Player
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    Yes mate but has your groundsman been out with his fork and shovel 48 hours before the game to show us??
     
  10. Loyalbantam

    Loyalbantam Squad Player
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    Sorry, I thought it was the norm to call games off 2 days early or does that only happen at Valley Parade ?
     
  11. Parader

    Parader Impact Sub

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    We should write this one off, with three league games in a week coming up we need to rotate to keep the first choice team fresh for the only the sixth cup semi-final in our history.
     
  12. Stafford Bantam

    Stafford Bantam Captain
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    Same referee as for the League Cup match at Y Cae Ras earlier this season.

    Referee: Benjamin Speedie
    Assistants: Alan Clayton and Oliver Bickle
    Fourth Official : Daniel Robinson
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. HUDDERSSBANTAM

    HUDDERSSBANTAM Squad Player

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    Let's hope for another ropey penalty in our favour.
     
  14. DimitriPayet

    DimitriPayet Squad Player
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    Heavy defeat is expected or we will manage to scrape a 0-1 win with them having 24 shots with 14 on target
     
    Onside likes this.
  15. Kevin1954

    Kevin1954 Squad Player
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    Heavy snow in Wrexham, overnight according to Sky news. Even the dollars can’t stop it snowing. What an absolute shit show ,Wrexham fans want new owners , CEO and manager and the groundsman is a J. A . Rank amateur.

    I’ll get mi coit.;)
     
    Steve1970 and vladimir like this.
  16. JudgeMental

    JudgeMental Squad Player
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    Can't see anything other than a serious drubbing.
     
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  17. TallinnBantam

    TallinnBantam Regular Starter
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    Young out. Wright out. Walker out. Pattison out. Rupp out. Sparks out.
     
    Kopendin1964 and Salty like this.
  18. ahar964

    ahar964 Squad Player
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    Is young out Tallin? Injured?
     
  19. Petrov

    Petrov Squad Player

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    He hasn't trained all week due to a swollen ankle picked up last week.
     
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  20. borderlescott

    borderlescott Squad Player

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    If the game is on we’ll get annihilated. 3-0 or 4-0.
     
    London BCFC likes this.

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