A north Hampton down south. Cobblers
Where does the time fly? 5 seasons ago we played Northampton Town at Wembley, winning easily 3-0 that glorious day. Things have changed, not a single player from the team the day is still at Valley Parade and the same can be said about the management and Chairmen.
Northampton had a very poor start to life in League 1 this season, losing their first 5 matches and then managed a home draw to League 2 opposition Cambridge United in the Football League Trophy. Then in comes Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as the new Cobblers manager turning form upside down with 2 home wins against Doncaster Rovers and Portsmouth, this was followed up by an away draw to Southend and a loss a few days ago away to Wigan, which means going into this weekend's game with the Bantams, the Cobblers find themselves in a less uncompromising 18th place in the division.
Will it be SIXfields wins in the league?
4 wins in the last 5 games, we've come away victors against some very tough opposition, the other result a draw. 2 losses in 10 games so far this season, but none in the last 6, you would expect the Bantams to be easy favourites for this tie. Vincelot has chipped in with a few goals past 3 games, and there are goals aplenty from our squad, only failing to find the net just the once in the 10 games. If they admit it or not, there is a personal battle brewing between Poleon and Wyke on who will be leading marksman this season, and that will only mean a good thing for City. Northampton Town have conceded 14 times in the league this season in 8 games and it will be a bit of a shock or a very stubborn Cobblers side to keep City from scoring for about 95 minutes. Northampton played midweek, so will the Bantams be much fresher?
Could it be Crooks, line and sinker?
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink was and still is one of the best all time players in the Premiership scoring in almost half of his games throughout his career. Hasselbaink is a very highly respected manager that worked wonders in with Burton Albion winning 33 of his 54 games and earning promotion by winning League 2 back in 2014/15. Hasselbaink has started life very well at Sixfields, winning his first 2 games, both of which his only 2 home games so far in 4 games. Former Huddersfield Town trainee, Matt Crooks is back from suspension and has scored in his last 3 games so will be looking to come back from a week lay off. Crooks has already scored against the Bantams and tasted victory with the winner as a Scunthorpe United player last season, he's done it once, and will be confident in doing us over again.
Head to head and form
We've had some good form over the Cobblers throughout the decades and I am expecting a good game on Saturday. There have only been 31 games in total between the Bantams and Cobblers, 19 have ended in victory for City, 6 draws and 6 wins for Northampton. We got the double last season, and the previous season we played each other was in 2012/13 a crazy 5 times which ended in 3 wins in our favour and 2 draws in the cup, the replay we won on penalties. Northampton have beaten City just the once in our last 13 meets.
Form reads City WDWWWD Northampton LDWWDL.
Boz's match verdict: Away win.
5 Fun Facts
1. Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink has only faced Bradford City just the once as a player or a manager, back in August 2000, a game he found himself on the losing side. Stuart McCall starred for City that day helping us to a 2-0 win over Chelsea back in the Premiership. Goals courtesy of Windass and Carbone.
2. Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink you would expect to have won quite a few trophies in his time as a player, but surprisingly he has only won the FA Charity Shield back in 2000 with Chelsea and the Taca de Portugal with Boavista in 1996/97.
3. The last 3 seasons we have played each other City have got the double over Town in the league, but the last time City lost to the Cobblers, current City player Luke Hendrie, his father's cousin Lee Hendrie appeared as a 2nd half sub for the Bantams. The score, 2-0 to the home side.
4. Talking of doubles, out of the 14 seasons we have faced each other, City has claimed 8 doubles compared to Northampton's 1 which was back in the 1975/76 season.
5. Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink was born in the very same year that Bradford City faced Northampton Town for the first time, 1972. The game was at Valley Parade, September that year the score in favour of the Bantams 2-1, and yes you have guessed it, we achieved the double at the first attempt, a 1-2 at the County Ground early in 1973.