Let's move on from Athletic, bring on Athletic
After another disappointment of Oldham Athletic we face another Athletic in the form of Charlton who like City are having a steady season finding themselves in the play offs at this early stage whilst not having a great time at the moment the London club did win 7 of their opening 9 games this season.
Will we be doing the Charlton dance?
Home advantage against a club whose form is similar to our own, Charlton have 2 wins in their last 5, just as City, but where Athletic fall short of City, their run is preceded by 2 losses. In that run Charlton have drawn at home to Bury and lost away to Gillingham so seems to have lost their way which means this is the time to play the Southern Club who seem to be stuttering more than a City defender in the middle of winter. Their strikers are not exactly goal hungry and marquee signing Mark Marshall has struggled with injury only having played 40 minutes back in September, chances are he won't be back at Valley Parade and it will take him a few weeks to get back to match pace once recovered, his loss has dented Athletic's ambition especially considering his impact on the pitch last season for the Bantams. If we control midfielder Fosu-Henry who has scored 7 goals, Charlton will offer very little threat. You would think.
Will we be doing the Carlton dance?
An ex Premiership club with more recent memories of the top flight than City dare to admit, Athletic are one of the big boys of the 3rd division. Tarique Fosu-Henry is Charlton's leading scorer, the midfielder has scored in his last 4 games hitting the back of the net 6 times, 5 of which away from home, even though their leading striker has 4 goals in the form of Ricky Holmes, the ex Reading midfielder will want to prove himself at a big club even though dropping down the leagues from the Royals. At only 21, Fosu-Henry could be one to watch for the future. Manager Karl Robinson also knows the division earning the runners up spot with MK Dons only 3 seasons ago back in 2014/15 so he knows what it takes to win at this level. Charlton Athletic also won League one a couple of seasons prior in 2011/12 so they have good pedigree and should prove to be one of the toughest teams in the division. Vincelot will be missing after receiving his 5th yellow of the season, Chicksen and McMahon both injured and all 3 will hit McCall's plans and our chances hard.
Head to head and form
11 City wins
7 Charlton Athletic Wins
The first fixture was back in September 1929, a result going the way of City 4-1 at Valley Parade, but in the following 88 years the 2 clubs have faced each other only a further 23 times, the most recent last season where both fixtures ended in stalemate. City just edges in the wins and you have to go back to an FA Cup replay in January 1990 for a last Athletic win at Valley Parade which ended 0-3. The last time Charlton won in Bradford in the league you have to go a little bit further back to March 1986 a 1-2 result. This fixture ended 0-0 last season with a last minute red card dished out to Patrick Bauer. The previous game was back in the Premiership, a match going in the favour of the Bantams, 2-0 at home thanks to a Robbie Blake penalty and a late strike for Benito Carbone in April 2001, a game which Stuart McCall starred in for the full 90 minutes.
City last 6 DLWWLW
Charlton Athletic last 6 DWWDDL
City last 6 home DWLWWL
Charlton Athletic last 6 away DWDLWW
Boz's match verdict: Away win
5 Fun Facts
1. Current players to play for both City and Athletic are Mark Marshall, Adam Chicksen and Billy Clarke. Marshall was our man of the season last season and moved down South for family reasons in the summer. Since his move he injured his knee in July hampering his progress at the Valley so making only 1 sub appearance last month. Clarke moved to the Valley also this summer scoring twice in 15 games starting 13 of those matches, both goals away from home. Chicksen made 25 appearances scoring twice last season for the Addicks on a 1 year contract.
2. Billy Clarke was Bradford City's leading scorer in the 2014/15 season with 14 goals. That season he scored the winner at Stadium: MK against his current manager then of MK Dons winning the game 1-2 and the equaliser in the return fixture at Valley Parade, we went on to win 2-1.
3. Did you know that whilst at Barnet, Mark Marshall was banned for 2 years in 2012 for having the stimulant methylhexanemine in his system after the game against Dagenham and Redbridge.
4. Tarique Fosu-Henry won the U21 Premier League Cup with Reading beating Man City 4-3 over 2 legs in 2013/14. Man City included some familiar names to City fans over the 2 legs such as Greg Leigh, Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila and Devante Cole. Fosu-Henry scored in the home leg.
5. Stuart McCall's last game was for Sheffield United in September 2004, a 2-3 win over Wrexham in the League Cup. Did you know that that the last time McCall was sent off in a match was against this weekend's opponents, a last minute 2nd yellow card at The Valley in November 2000 in the Premiership. The game was already lost thanks to early goals from Jonatan Johansson and Graham Stuart and was Stuart's only red card in his 2nd spell at Valley Parade. A bit surprising for such a combative player.