As Vale look to bounce back from losing ways, here’s our brief guide to next opponents Bradford City…
Manager: Rob Page
Last match: 1-2 vs Barnsley
Form guide: L-L-W-L-W
Manager: Phil Parkinson
Last match: 1-1 vs Colchester
Form guide: D-W-L-W-L
Ben Williamson: injured
Ben Williamson will miss the game through injury as will Louis Dodds. It’s likely that the fit-again Tom Pope will start upfront by himself with new loan signing Tom O’Sullivan playing just behind him. Vale’s other new signing Greg Luer will probably start on the bench alongside Achille Campion. There could be other changes notably on the flank where Mark Marshall, Chris Birchall, Colin Daniel and Byron Moore are all competing for places.
Bradford’s transfer deadline-day signing Gary MacKenzie could be included in boss Phil Parkinson’s squad.
Yates – Veseli – Robertson – Dickinson (c)
Marshall – O’Connor – Lines – Birchall
““I think it’s all about getting a win. If I can get a goal on the way to getting those three points then even better…”
– Tom Pope
Last time we met
Chris Lines: last Vale scorer against Bradford
Vale secured a valuable away point with a 1-1 draw at Valley Parade. Chris Lines gave Vale the lead from the penalty spot but Mark Yeates equalised on 45 minutes.
- Vale wins: 32
- Bradford wins: 42
- Draws: 28
Tom Pope: scored in 2012
Vale’s build-up to this game echoes the match earlier in the season. Before the last Bradford game, Vale won 2-1 against Barnsley whilst before this game the Vale lost 2-1 to the same opponents.
Vale Park is not a happy hunting ground for Bradford. Vale have won four of the last five home fixtures against the Bantams.
Should he start, this would be the 250th league start of Chris Robertson’s career.
There’s every chance that Tom O’Sullivan and Greg Luer could make their first-ever league appearances in this game. By our calculation, the last time that happened was back in 2011 when Ryan Lloyd and Joe Davis made their competitive debuts in a 7-2 win over Morecambe.
They played for both…
Vale will face former loanee Billy Knott, who turned down a move to the Valiants in favour of one to Bradford.
There have been a number of other players to appear for both sides including:
- Striker Billy Paynter
- Midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson
- Striker Lee Mills
- Defender Rob Kozluk
- Striker Dave Hibbert
- Striker Bernie Wright
- Goalkeeper Chris Pearce
- Winger Peter Griffiths
First meeting – a thumping win
Port Vale’s first league meeting with Bradford City took place on the 10th October 1903. A Second Division clash, it was played in front of around 3,000 people at the Athletic Ground stadium and ended in a resounding 5-2 win for the Valiants.
Vale, managed by Sam Gleaves scored through half-back Harry Coxton (who scored twice), Tom Simpson, Adrian Capes and an own-goal.
However, there were mitigating circumstances for Bradford. It was their first season in the Football League and it had been elected into the competition without playing a competitive game before the season began. The game was their sixth of the season and the club rallied to finish in mid-table while Vale languished in sixth from bottom.