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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Bradford City vs Wrexham AFC

Phil Parkinson returns to Bradford for the first time as Red Dragons boss

20 October 2023

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Bradford City vs Wrexham AFC

Phil Parkinson returns to Bradford for the first time as Red Dragons boss

20 October 2023

Phil Parkinson returns to his former club this weekend, as the Red Dragons make the journey to Braford City in Sky Bet League Two.

It will be the first time Parkinson has returned to the University of Bradford Stadium has Wrexham boss, a ground that holds special memories for him.

He reached the final of the Carabao Cup in 2013, knocking out Premier League opposition in Arsenal and Aston Villa on their way to Wembley.

The ‘cupsets’ didn’t stop there, as he also went on to record a famous FA Cup victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Tomorrow’s clash sees the Red Dragons travel to Yorkshire in fifth place and only three points off the league leaders Stockport County.

The hosts however have made one critical change since the Carabao Cup tie between the two clubs in September with Mark Hughes relieved from his duties.

Wrexham haven’t faced the Bantams in League football since 2008 when they both played out a 1-1 draw at the STōK Cae Ras.

The Red Dragons will be boosted before kick-off with Ryan Barnett available for selection after serving his three-game suspension.

Previewing the fixture, Parkinson said: “The University of Bradford Stadium is a terrific arena to play football in, and are looking forward to it.

“The most important thing is about the performance level and giving it our all physically.

“It will be a test but we want to implement our game plan which we’ve worked on this week with real quality.”

THE RECAP

A Steven Fletcher and Jordan Davies late show provided another dramatic afternoon in North Wales last weekend when they came from behind to beat Salford City.

The Ammies came full of confidence on an unbeaten three-game streak and started in fine form as they went 2-0 up after the half-hour mark.

Before the break, Elliot Lee pulled a goal back as he arrived at the back post to head home from James McClean’s corner.

After the restart, there was relentless pressure from Wrexham, but the Salford defence stood firm and it looked as though they would remain good enough value for their lead.

However, the regular pattern this season has shown is how crucial the substitutions can be and last Saturday was no different.

Fletcher replicated his inspired performance against Crewe and scored his second goal of the season to level the game in the 88th minute.

The stadium still in jubilation from the second soon turned into pandemonium as Davies followed in Sam Dalby’s cross and tucked the ball home 60 seconds later.

It was his second goal in the space of four days and claimed victory in style.

 

EYE ON THE OPPOSITION

Nearly two months have passed since the two teams met in the Carabao Cup and it has been all change for the Bantams.

Wales Legend Mark Hughes was in the dugout for that fixture, but a defeat against Tranmere earlier this month saw him relieved of his duties.

Yet to replace him, Kevin McDonald has taken on the role of player/caretaker manager whilst the search for a new boss continues.

However, under the midfielder they have had a positive start, winning all three of his games in charge.

The two victories in Sky Bet League Two came against high-flying opposition in Swindon Town and most recently AFC Wimbledon.

Only one goal decided both of those fixtures but both wins provided much much-needed three points ahead of the Red Dragons visit this weekend.

Wrexham will be all too aware of the dangerman for City in the shape of Andy Cook, who has scored five goals so far this season.

He has faced the Red Dragons on numerous occasions when he played for Tranmere Rovers and Grimsby Town.

A natural target and goalscorer, he will play a large role if McDonald’s side are set to record victory tomorrow afternoon.

Ahead of the fixture, the Caretaker boss spoke to their official club website and explained he expects it to be an exciting occasion.

He said: “It is a great game for us. We have won three in a row and so it will be a good test.

“The game should be a good occasion, with over 22,000 fans in the ground.

“They will also bring good support and it should be a great occasion for both clubs.”

HOW TO WATCH

As the fixture falls inside the Article 48 blackout window, the match is only available to watch overseas, but UK supporters can tune in via our 'audio only' commentary option. 

You can buy your iFollow Wrexham match passes here, costing £10 each, and pass subscribers can enjoy live, multi-angle match coverage with graphics and instant replays, delivered by 24/7.tv.


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