Arguably the biggest game of the weekend in League 1 comes from Valley Parade where Bradford City take on Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United.
The home side currently sit in a healthy 7th place whereas their counterparts are one point behind in 10th spot. The same fixture last season saw the Bantams come off as 2-0 victors after an impressive display and Phil Parkinson will be hoping his side can replicate that level of performance this Saturday against the Blades.
Bradford come into the fixture on the back of a disappointing display against Barnsley on Sunday and must improve on that particular performance if they want a result out of this tricky looking tie. James Hanson is a doubt after a persistent thigh injury has hindered his comeback to the first team squad, meanwhile midfielder Gary Liddle is definitely ruled out due to suspension after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last week. With the ex Notts County man unavailable it will be interesting to see if Parkinson reverts to a 4-4-2 or keeps with his diamond formation, Matt Dolan who has played virtually no football since pre season would be a good replacement if they wanted to keep with the narrow set up, however Bradford do have a few wingers in Mark Yeates, Felipe Morais and new loan signing Andy Halliday if they want to use the full width of the pitch and it’s something I expect Parkinson to do as the flat 4 in midfield worked well in the 2-0 victory over Crewe in their last home game.
Another recent arrival is striker Jon Stead on loan from Huddersfield Town. Stead, who spent a month with the Bantams at the end of last season could go straight into the starting eleven for this clash, he will be match fit after already playing nine times, scoring twice for the Terriers this season.
Turning the attention towards Sheffield United, they have had a bit of a mixed bag recently with one win, one draw and one loss in their last three league games but Nigel Clough will be hoping for a degree of consistency in their results from now on. Clough is hoping for some steely resistance from his team this weekend, he told their official website “We know we need to be strong and resolute, but we need to do that is a positive manner and not get drawn into things like we have doing previously.”
One absentee for the Blades is ex Motherwell striker Michael Higdon who is serving the final game of his three match ban after been shown a red card in the derby against Chesterfield. Marc McNulty could start after notching against Leyton Orient last week, meanwhile Jose Baxter is still working his way to full fitness and could be a touch and go decision could be made on the frontman. Midfielder James Wallace is expected to start despite been taken off in the home game against the O’s.
I fancy this to be a tight but entertaining affair between two evenly matched teams.