Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City – Preview

It’s been 3 games and 3 losses for The Bantams since David Hopkin has taken over, but improvements have been seen under the new head coach. This weekend, City aim to climb out of the relegation zone with their first win in 4 at Doncaster.

The hosts find themselves in 5th place heading into this Yorkshire clash, with newly appointed Grant McCann having a joyous start to the campaign thus far. On the other side of the spectrum lie Bradford. With only 2 wins all season, City find themselves in 21st place after suffering a 2-0 loss in Hopkin’s first home game at the hands of Charlton. Charlton went ahead after 3 minutes through Karlan Ahearne-Grant, and despite a dominant second half performance from Bradford, Lyle Taylor made it 2-0 with 10 minutes left against the run of play.

Meanwhile Doncaster came from behind away at Walsall to thump the home side 4-1 in an emphatic victory, which included a fine goal from the ever-experienced James Coppinger, who curled home Donny’s third.

In terms of form, Doncaster are the favourites here. Donny are unbeaten in their last six, and have won their last three, giving them every reason to come into this game confident of a win. Bradford on the other hand, with their extensive injury list and lack of confidence will feel the exact opposite.

Bradford head into Saturday’s fixture with 12 on the injury list; 8 of whom are regarded first teamers. Club captain Josh Wright and fullback Kelvin Mellor have been carrying hamstring injuries and wont return to training until next week.

Joe Riley is being assessed, whereas Luca Colville will spend a lengthy amount of time on the side-line, being ruled out for up to 3 months with a knee ligament injury. Hope Akpan remains out with a shoulder injury, as does Adam Chicksen with a leg injury. Jake Reeves and Alex Jones, who have yet to feature this season after picking up injuries last year, are both nearing the end of their rehabilitation programmes.

This list of injuries has forced David Hopkin to dive into the free agent market and bring in fellow Scotsman Jim O’Brien on a short-term deal. The former Barnsley midfielder was awarded man of the match on his debut against Charlton on Saturday and brings experience and a no-nonsense attitude to the Bradford squad.

Prediction- Though there were second half positives on Saturday, I feel as though City will struggle against a team on form such as Doncaster. 2-1 to the hosts.

Predicted starting XI-

O’Donnell

Scannell, Knight Percival, McGowan, O’Connor, Wood

O’Brien, O’Brien

Payne,

Ball, Doyle.

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