Football – England – League Two
Saturday 17th November 2012 –Kickoff: 1500hrs
Hosts Bradford City will be looking for all three points when Exeter City visit on Saturday afternoon in order to close the gap on the leading three clubs, Gillingham, Port Vale and Cheltenham Town at Valley Parade.
Bradford are one of the form teams in League Two at the moment and have lost just once in their last six league matches which was a 0-1 defeat at Burton Albion who themselves have snuck into play-off reckoning recently. Wins over promotion rivals Cheltenham Town 3-1, Northampton Town and Aldershot Town have kept The Bantams in touch with the league leaders, and they’ll certainly be looking to add to their points tally with the visit of Exeter City today.
Bradford’s home record stands at a creditable 5-2-1 16/5, and along with Gillingham and Rochdale, they possess the meanest home defensive records in the division so far. They’ve also kept no fewer than six clean sheets in their last eleven home league matches which is something worth remembering.
Bantams forward Nakhi Wells (10 goals) leads the way and he scored a double at Aldershot last weekend and he’s scored 8 goals in his last 9 league matches. He has support from striker James Hanson (4 goals, 3 assists) and Alan Connell (3 goals) while Gary Jones has chipped in with 3 assists.
Onto Exeter now, and despite their league standing of 10th place, The Grecians have won just once in their last seven League Two matches and made an early exit from the FA Cup following a 0-1 loss at Bury. Exeter’s win in this run was at home to struggling AFC Wimbledon who are just two places above the relegation zone.
Exeter’s away record at first glance appears to be pretty good, and indeed it was after the first three matches on their travels they had recorded three straight wins at Aldershot Town, Accrington Stanley and Oxford United within mid-August to September. However, since then they’ve added just one more win and that was at joint-bottom club Barnet, and they’ve suffered losses at Southend United, Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town subsequently.
So, their record of 4-1-3 13/13 is now in perspective and they will have to work very hard at Bradford to get anything from this match. However, striker Jamie Cureton (12 goals) and John O’Flynn (5 goals, 3 assists) along with former Blackpool player Alan Gow (2 goals, 5 assists) and Liam Sercombe (4 assists) give them a chance if they can keep it tight at the back.
However, that’s easier said than done with a side who have kept just three clean sheets in their last fifteen away matches at this level, and I fancy them to concede at least one at Bradford which should make things interesting.
I’ll back Bradford City to win this one but will take the -0.25 handicap because of the Cureton factor. Could be a 2-1 win for Bradford though.
Pick: Bradford City AH-0.25 @ 1.78 Pinnacle