Bradford City v Stevenage (preview)
Boro to come face-to-face with former manager Peter Taylor
Bradford City v Stevenage
npower League 2
Saturday, August 14 – 3pm
Coral Windows Stadium
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THIS weekend sees Boro travel to Bradford City where former defender Luke Oliver is managed by Graham Westley’s predecessor Peter Taylor.
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Bradford had a tough time of things last year when a 5-0 defeat to Notts County on the opening day of the season set the tone for a disappointing campaign which saw them finish 14th.
This year the Bantams are second favourites for the league behind Wycombe Wanderers but have had a strange week with a 3-1 opening day defeat at Shrewsbury Town followed by a 2-1 victory over Championship side Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup.
Among Bradford’s signings this summer were former Wycombe defender Lewis Hunt and the experienced Adam Bolder, who could prove to be a prize acquisition, while Taylor is reportedly mulling over signing David Syers on a full-time deal after the midfielder scored in the win over Forest midweek.
Oliver, who played more than 70 games for Boro, is likely to miss out after a poor display against Shrewsbury.
Possible line-up (4-3-3): Jon McLaughlin, Simon Ramsden, Luke O’Brien, Steve Williams, Shane Duff, Tom Adeyemi, Lee Bullock, Tommy Doherty, Gareth Evans, James Hanson, Jake Speight.
BORO will be glad to see the back of the media circus which surrounded them last week ahead of their debuts in the Football League and Carling Cup.
A late equaliser against Macclesfield Town in the former and an impressive performance in the defeat to Portsmouth in the latter will have given Boro fans hope for the coming season, but the team needs to concentrate at the back after conceding from two set pieces in those two games.
Graham Westley will be without Darren Murphy for the trip to Bradford after the midfielder’s shoulder popped out in the defeat to Portsmouth while new signing Darius Charles is likely to miss the game after failing to recover from strained ankle ligament damage.
Westley will have to decide on who to start alongside Mark Roberts in the centre of defence after playing Luke Foster and Michael Bostwick there in the first two games, while up front Boro have already used five strikers this season and all five, plus Tim Sills, will be hoping for a start.
Possible line-up (4-4-2): Chris Day, Ronnie Henry, Scott Laird, Mark Roberts, Luke Foster, Lawrie Wilson, Michael Bostwick, Joel Byrom, Peter Winn, Charlie Griffin, Yemi Odubade.
Who to watch out for
Boro: Mark Roberts – The Boro captain will have to be at his best on Saturday if Boro are to get anything from the game.
Bradford City: James Hanson – Last season’s top scorer, the striker opened his account for this season midweek in the Carling Cup.