With the League One playoffs continuing this Sunday, Alan Dudman thinks it is worth backing the draw once again between Fleetwood and Bradford....
"Bradford's problem of drawing too many games at home almost came off with the bet at Valley Parade - but I am still interested in backing that at around 3.505/2, and am tempted to go in again."
Fleetwood Town 2.8415/8 v Bradford City 2.6413/8, the draw 3.55
Live on Sky Sports
So close have been the playoffs involving all four teams, just the solitary goal was all the Sky TV viewers had to enjoy on Thursday evening. However, the Fleetwood v Bradford match was far more entertaining - and the Cod Army came out with a lot of credit.
The Bantams are still favourites in the Promotion market at 2.407/5, whilst Fleetwood are the outsiders at 7.06/1. The latter strikes me as a big price considering just a goal separates the two. If you fancy backing the hosts here to win at 2.8415/8, you should be better off taking the promotion price - as that could give you a decent trading opportunity in the final. If Fleetwood win of course!
Bradford's 1-0 victory at Valley Parade came from a 77th minute Rory McArdle header. The agony of being denied a draw selection with a fairly late goal is nothing new to this column - especially involving Stuart McCall's side; although on the balance of play they deserved the win. They enjoyed 65% of the possession and hit the post in the first-half. They also won the 'corners match' easily 10-1.
McCall declared himself happy. The Scot said: "We wanted to play with a high tempo and it wasn't just about battling and desire. There was a lot of quality there and that was pleasing."
Town boss Uwe Rosler has turned to the mind games however, he responded by saying: "Bradford should be in the Premier League."
The German rued a couple of missed chances for David Ball and Devante Cole, although the switch to the defensive back five worked tremendously well. His team play on the counter-attack, and they nearly pulled off a result on Thursday. They only had 35% of the ball in the first-leg, but that's the way they play.
Fleetwood were 2-1 winners in the regular season at Highbury and with 82 points collected in the campaign, that tally highlighted what a good team they were. Their tremendous 18-match unbeaten sequence earlier in the season was the obvious highlight, and Rosler has proved himself time-and-time again a fine tactician with an astute brain.
The Cod Army lost just three matches at Highbury all season and conceded a mere 20 goals in 43 games. Rosler might have centre-back Cian Bolger back for Sunday, although the defence managed well and soaked up plenty of pressure without him a few days ago in the first-leg.
Bradford's problem of drawing too many games at home almost came off with the bet at Valley Parade - but I am still interested in backing that at around 3.505/2, and am tempted to go in again. Bradford might go and protect, so we should have trading opportunities by backing the draw.
McCall's team are not quite the same force on the road as they are at home (where they are unbeaten for the whole season). City have lost seven times away from Yorkshire and have scored as many as they have conceded with 26.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Fleetwood displayed their defensive skills on Thursday, although this could be a different sort of test for the counter-punch style so favoured by Rosler. McCall has outlined plans by saying his team won't sit back and defend, but Fleetwood's record of conceding just 20 goals this term at home makes the Under 2.5 Goals more interesting. Their seasonal record for that bet reads 12/23.
The Fylde coast men have also kept 11 clean sheets this term on terra firma.
The Bantams have gleaned 14/23 away from home to hit the Under 2.5 Goals - a record in keeping with a team that have scored just 26 away. However, they are a big threat from set-pieces, and their delivery is often of a high quality.
Back The Draw 0.5pt @ 3.55
Back Bradford to win Corners Match Bet 0.5pt @ 1.804/5
Alan Dudman's P&L 2016/17
League One: -0.95pts
FA Cup: +8.05pts