Bradford v Fleetwood: Seek out the draw once again at Valley Parade

Fleetwood manager Uwe Rosler has been linked with Norwich and Wigan
Fleetwood manager Uwe Rosler has been linked with Norwich and Wigan
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The League One playoffs start this Thursday, and with both semi-finals televised on Sky, our third tier man Alan Dudman takes a look at Bradford v Fleetwood...


"Time and time again backers have been stung by Bradford this term - mainly due to their penchant of grabbing the draw. You cannot fault their home record this term - winning 11 and losing none, but they were held to a draw an astonishing 12 times."

Back The Draw @ 3.505/2 in Bradford v Fleetwood

Bradford City 1.9210/11 v Fleetwood Town 4.30100/30, the draw 3.65
Thursday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports

Playoff regulars Bradford City are to have another crack at promotion, and the first instalment of the "Roses" head-to-head takes place this Thursday - as fourth faces fifth for a chance of a place at Wembley.

History has an uncanny knack of repeating itself, and this will be the fifth time in five appearances that City will play the all-important return-leg away from home. Results have been mixed, as they were defeated by Blackpool (1996), Burton Albion (2013) and Millwall last term.

Six players remain from the 2016 playoff defeat to the Lions, and the fact they lost the home leg 3-1 to the Londoners means that the 1.9210/11 is a bit too skinny to get involved with here. Time and time again backers have been stung by Bradford this term - mainly due to their penchant of grabbing the draw. You cannot fault their home record this term - winning 11 and losing none (and they are the only unbeaten team at home in the Football League), but they were held to a draw an astonishing 12 times - which certainly makes that worth a look.

However, backing The Draw outright in the two matches between the pair would have failed this term. Bradford won 2-1 at Valley Parade, whilst Fleetwood gained their revenge with a 2-1 victory at Highbury.

Town's build-up on the pitch has seen a fairly strong end to the season, and they have been comfortable in a playoff berth for some time. In fact, at one stage due to a brilliant unbeaten run - they looked genuine automatic contenders alongside Bolton. Fleetwood's recent form is DWWWLWL.

Cod Army manager Uwe Rosler has once again been linked to the jobs at Norwich City and Wigan, and that cannot have helped matters and preparation. The speculation (which won't go away), has come at a poor time.

It means that Fleetwood are a big price, and the counter-attacking style could well suit playing against a team that enjoy holding the ball. Since Rosler moved to a 3-5-2 formation, they have excelled. One of their young players Luke Dempsey has really blossomed. Bradford have a decent youngster too on loan from West Ham called Josh Cullen (and as a Hammers' fan, I don't have too much to get excited about these days).

It might be worth chancing an outside bet here on Fleetwood, as they have picked up some decent away wins against the likes of Scunthorpe and Sheffield United this term - and their display at Glanford Park was one of their best this season. But Bradford's record for drawing games makes me sway to that bet.

Looking at the Overs/Under 2.5 Goals, Bradford have the second-best defensive record at home with just 17 goals conceded. And with 11 clean sheets at home in 23 games, their 14/25 strike-rate for Under 2.5 Goals is very healthy (for backers anyway).

Bradford are favourites in the Promotion market at 2.809/5, with Fleetwood the outsiders at 5.609/2.


Recommended Bet
Back The Draw 0.5pt @ 3.505/2


Alan Dudman's P&L 2016/17

League One: +0.05pts
FA Cup: +8.05pts

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