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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: CITY v HARROGATE

22 February 2022

The Bantams are set to welcome neighbouring Harrogate Town tonight in a rearranged Sky Bet League Two clash set for 7.45pm.

Originally scheduled for a Boxing Day, the derby was postponed due to COVID cases within the City squad.

The sides met just a matter of weeks ago at the EnviroVent Stadium, where Town ran out 2-0 victors in the early kick-off.

It will be a first-time visit to the Utilita Energy Stadium for most Town fans, who will not have seen their team play a competitive fixture there in the flesh due to COVID restrictions last season.

We have created a Big Match Preview to give you all the key details you need to know, heading into the encounter. 

TEAM NEWS

City: Paudie O'Connor will be available for selection having had his red card at Oldham Athletic overturned, though Reece Staunton will be unavailable after limping off at Boundary Park. 

Jamie Walker will miss the clash due to a tweaked hamstring, while Matty Foulds could return to the side after missing Saturday’s trip to Oldham through illness.

Abo Eisa and Lee Angol remain long-term hamstring absentees, with the latter not requiring surgery, and Dion Pereira, Charles Vernam, Liam Ridehalgh and Oscar Threlkeld still out. 

Town: Ryan Fallowfield and Simon Power have been ruled out of the clash due to their respective injuries.

Town's defensive pairing of former Bantam Rory McArdle and Lewis Richards are both still unavailable after collecting knee injuries in the same fixture.

Calum Kavanagh will just miss the clash but will likely be available for the weekend.

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID

Mark Trueman: “Harrogate are a good team. I thought we played well in the first half against them. They have got their strengths, and have individual quality.

“We saw the likes of Jack Diamond and how positive he is on the ball. Jack Muldoon and Luke Armstrong who are full of energy and want to threaten our backline.

“We know it is a derby. We have to be physical, and need to be aggressive both with and without the ball.

“We have got to give the fans something that they want - that is energy, that is work rate and that is aggression.”

Simon Weaver: “We are probably expecting them to go for 4-4-2 because they ended up pretty strong in that shape with two strikers up the pitch, so that is what we would envisage. 

“It is our first experience as a football league club with big crowds so there are none bigger than tomorrow.

“It is a big ground, great set-up and a fantastic football club that we are visiting, so hopefully we will come out on top for the fans.”

MATCH COVERAGE 

City supporters unable to make the trip to the Utilita Energy Stadium will be able to catch the game live on IFollow.

The pass - available for £10 - will ensure supporters do not miss a minute of the action, with build-up beginning from 7.00pm. 

To purchase an iFollow video match pass, please CLICK HERE.

BBC Radio Leeds’ Jamie Raynor and former City midfielder Filipe Morias will provide live commentary on DAB radio across the Bradford district, and via the BBC Sounds app.

LAST TIME OUT

It was a disappointing afternoon for City when the sides met earlier this month, with the hosts taking all three points.

Jack Diamond netted twice in less than 10 minutes to win the game for Town - one a deflected effort from the left of the box, the other a superb solo effort that began in his own half.

TOWN: Mark Oxley (GK); Lewis Page, Josh Falkingham (c), Warren Burrell, George Thompson, Calum Kavanagh (Jack Muldoon 53’), Alex Pattison, Leon Legge, Jack Diamond, Brahima Diarra, Luke Armstrong (Mark Beck 83’). SUBS (not used): Will Smith, Joe Cracknell, Nathan Sheron, Josh Austerfield.

GOALS: Jack Diamond (61’, 72’). 

CITY: Alex Bass (GK); Oscar Threlkeld (booked 89’), Paudie O’Connor (c), Yann Songo’o, Matthew Foulds, Liam Ridehalgh; Elliot Watt, Callum Cooke (Theo Robinson 70’), Jamie Walker; Andy Cook (Alex Gilliead 79’), Tom Elliott (Nathan Delfouneso 57’). SUBS (not used): Richard O’Donnell (GK), Levi Sutton, Matty Daly, Luke Hendrie.

MATCH OFFICIALS

James Bell is the man in the middle tonight, his 33rd of the season. 

Bell’s last game in charge at the Utilita Energy Stadium came in City’s 2-0 victory against Rochdale, where he produced three yellow cards.

He will be joined by Lee Freeman and Christopher Ward on the flanks, with Peter Gooch acting as fourth official.

BACK THE BANTAMS - WITH SKY BET

City supporters can back their team for victory tonight with Sky Bet.

Bantams fans can flutter on Mark Trueman’s side to win the tie at 21/20.

Supporters can place their bets by CLICKING HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: All odds are subject to change. Please gamble responsibly. 

KIT COLOURS

The Bantams will wear a limited-edition, one-off fourth shirt this evening, featuring the names of 1903 Club members and based on the design of an away strip worn around the time of the club's 1981/82 promotion-winning campaign, 40 years ago. 

Bantams: Amber / Claret / Claret

Town: Blue / Blue / Blue


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