Can we man up for Manchester City?
Back to cup football with the English Football League Trophy on Tuesday night, the much maligned competition, but I hope we can get in a performance and a result that can boost morale around Valley Parade after a few disappointing results. I believe this cup is our best bet of getting to Wembley in 2018 and it really wouldn't do any harm in having a successful campaign in the competition. The EFL Trophy may not be everyone's cup of tea with the current format, but it will offer only a rare chance to play one of the best clubs in the English game, no matter what players they field.
Will we be men united?
U21, academy or whatever the club want to call the squad, we are facing a Premiership club who can very likely field a few seasoned pros to help their youngsters along. Across the pitch, you should expect our starting 11 to be more experienced as senior pros than Man City's and that experience could be the difference in scraping a win. We will of course rest a couple of players for the tie as our main focus will be the league, but McCall will want a response and end a very poor month on a high. We normally don't do bad at the EFL Trophy and taken seriously it can generate some much needed funds especially come the January transfer window just to edge the bets in our favour for the 2nd half of the season. McCall did well last season and we already have a win from 1 game so far, but I expect Alex Jones and Patrick Omari to be given another chance to shine which I wouldn't bet against either not getting a goal come Tuesday evening, as both players will be wanting to push their claims for the league. With the inexperience Man City will offer, we really do have a chance, we head group F with 3 points due to a better goal difference and a game in hand, Man City have 2 points from their game with Rotherham United, a point for the draw and a further point winning the penalty shoot out. Also you would expect the most talented Man City youngsters to be already out on loan.
Will we be boy City to their Man City?
Academy and U21 sides tend to struggle a bit in this competition, but this season more of those sides are getting positive results, and Manchester City have brought some pacey gifted youngsters into the game over the past few years. Our defence is shocked at the moment and if Man City can provide a bit of pace upfront, they will be no denying them a scoring performance, and it may need a couple of goals for either team to win the game. A draw may favour the Bantams more and may be a result we may play for, but we will field players that may have played 1 professional game this season, if that. No question we will field a weakened team against Man City and the commitment has to be questioned from any team in the competition before kick off which makes this a bit of a lottery as to who will win the game. There is no reason a youthful Man City can trounce any League 1 club this season as every single Blues player will be trying their hardest in making it at one of the richest clubs in the world.
Head to head and form
9 Bradford City wins
19 Manchester City Wins
Let's look at the 2 clubs rather than the Academy, between the 2 City teams we have only played each other 33 times in the last 110 years and it will come as little surprise that Man City leads the way. The last meet was a Man City double back in 2000/01 in the Premiership with the fixture at Valley Parade ending 0-2 with goals from Darren Huckerby and Jon Macken. The last Bantam win was a little bit further back in time, March 1998, 2-1 thanks to Nigel Pepper and Edinho even though we went behind to a Jeff Whiteley goal who also happened to get sent off at the dyeing moments with the game already lost. Man city also fielded a familiar defender in the shape of ex Bantam Richard Edghill that day.
The Bantams' form is poor of late coming off the back of a draw sandwiched in between 2 losses to competition you wouldn't exactly call the best of League 1. Man City are currently the best club in the English game opening up a 5 point lead over Man United in the Premiership and in 13 games this season have won 12 games drawing 1 not counting the Rotherham draw in the trophy they won on penalties.
Bradford City last 6 LDLWWL
Manchester City last 6 WWWWWW
Bradford City last 6 home LDWLWW
Manchester City last 6 away WWWWWW
Boz's match verdict: Home win
5 Fun Facts
1. No current players have played for both City sides, but did you know Man City midfielder Fabien Delph started his career at Bradford City. Before turning out for the Bantams, as a youth player we sold him onto Leeds United before he moved onto Aston Villa in 2009 before Man City bought the Bradford born player for £8m in July 2015 earning City a nice little bonus due to sell on clauses. With the 27 year old only making 8 appearances in 2017/18, could 1 of our sons make a return to Valley Parade on Tuesday evening?
2. Man City has the most consecutive home wins in the Premiership, a staggering 20 between the 5th of March 2011 till 21st March 2012. This run ended when it took 2 late goals to deny Sunderland meaning a draw ending 3-3 to save blue blushes on the 31st March 2012.
3. The last time we played Man City was in March 2002, a certain defender played that day, a Richard Dunne, not to be confused with Richard Dunn sports Centre in Bradford. Did you know Dunne holds the record of most own goals in the Premiership just hitting double figures with 10. Dunne cost Man City £3m from Everton in 2000 and played 352 games in all competitions scoring 7 goals before being sold to Aston Villa for £5m in 2009.
4. Man City dished out the biggest loss to any reigning Premier League champions when they beat Man United 1-6 at Old Trafford in October 2011. Some would argue this feat was matched when Spurs won by the same scoreline away to Leicester City on 18th May 2017, but in reality, this is incorrect as Chelsea won the Premiership title on the 12th May, only 6 days prior, meaning the foxes relinquished their title less than a week earlier before the heavy defeat.
5. Manchester City holds the record for the fewest home goals in a season in the Premiership, just scraping 10 goals in 19 games in 2006/07 which left City in 14th at the end of the campaign.