Bantams host Beech's high flying Carlisle
The most northern club in the English Football League in Carlisle United make the trip to Valley Parade this weekend, to face a misfiring Bradford City side who have started the League Two campaign unexpectedly poorly. On the other hand Carlisle have been one of the surprise packages, sitting inside the playoff places having spent the majority of 2019/20 floating around the bottom half. Both sides were knocked out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat last time out and will be looking to put that behind them as the fixtures come thick and fast in League Two. I am gobsmacked to see the Cumbrians as outsiders for this match, they look awesome value.
The Bantams are struggling down in 20th however they are due a result, their performances are more deserving of a mid table position compared to where they are sat. Carlisle United have also underperformed a little, sitting seventh compared to fourth in the expected goals standings. Since arriving in the dugout during 2019/20 Chris Beech has been able to implement his philosophy to a great effect, picking up a club wallowing towards the lower ends of the table, following multiple playoff disappointments in recent years. to galvanise them to what at times has looked like a team that could push for automatic promotion speaks volumes to his impact.
- Bradford have scored in 11 of 20, conceded in 16 of 20 with both teams getting on the scoresheet in nine of 20.
- Carlisle have scored in 15 of 20, conceded in 16 of 20 with both teams finding the net in 11 of 20.
Slightly more enterprising numbers from the visitors however, the goals market does not look the most appealing to me in terms of value. It is hard to call what fashion this encounter will be played out in, there is certainly more to lose for the Bantams, who will begin looking over their shoulders if their results do not improve in the coming weeks.
One to watch
One of the most exciting emerging talents in League Two so far this term has been dynamic wide man Gime Toure. The versatile forward joined in the summer after impressing in the National League with Hartlepool United last term, he has four goal involvements in 15 outings, but outside of the attacking output his skill set is a huge asset to the team. His dribbling ability combined with a bulky frame make the Frenchman very tough to defend against, stretching defences and consequently creating space for Joshua Kayode and Lewis Alessandra.
Bradford are bang out of form and the visit of one of the league’s best provides a big challenge. They will have their work cut out when they host second placed Cheltenham Town midweek, so when this matchup comes around they will have to be on it from the first minute to the last.