Three Things We Learnt From Bradford City vs Wycombe Wanderers- Opinion

Bradford City and Wycombe Wanderers faced off at a wet University of Bradford Stadium in the semi-finals of the EFL Trophy last night, with Peterborough United awaiting in the final following their 3-0 win over Blackpool on Tuesday.

Bradford were missing their league top scorer Andy Cook due to suspension, and cup-tied goalkeeper Sam Walker. Cook has scored 13 times in 30 games in League Two, whilst Walker has been a revelation between the sticks since Harry Lewis’s shock move to Carlisle United in January. Wycombe were missing Kieran Sadlier due to illness.

The Chairboys ran out unconvincing 1-0 winners as substitute midfielder Matt Butcher hit the winning goal against the run-of-play in added time, as he shot across stand-in Bantams ‘keeper Colin Doyle.

When Bradford Do Click, They Will Go On A Run

We saw promising signs for the Bantams as they peppered the Wycombe goal. There aren’t many games where you will have 19 shots, with seven of those on target and still be on the losing side. Bradford can be very proud of their performance. Strikers Callum Kavanagh and Tyler Smith, City’s top scorer in this competition, both had opportunities but couldn’t find the net.

Wycombe shotstopper Max Stryjek is a key reason for this, receiving a rating of 9.3 out of 10 via Sofascore. He made eight saves, five of which were in the box as he frustrated the home side. Barrow will have to be cautious at the weekend when the Yorkshire side visit, given how hard done by they will feel.

Fortress Valley Parade

Despite losing this game, Bradford have made Valley Parade a very tough place to come. In 23 games at home, City have lost just six, including last night’s game.

Those defeats include the likes of play-off chasing Barrow, Championship side Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup and Wycombe in the FA Cup. Only Barrow, Mansfield Town and Wrexham have lost less home games in League Two.

Bradford Have Tinkered And Found The Right Formation

This season, City appear to have struck gold with a formation that works for them and manager Graham Alexander. 3-4-3/3-4-2-1 attacking and a 5-3-2 when defending. They have lost a third of their 33 League games, although they almost toppled a League One side last night.

Having an extra centre-back, with Bradley Halliday at right wing-back and whoever is on the opposite flank (Lewis Richards, Liam Ridehalgh and even Alex Gilliead have played there) able to go forward seems to be a winning combination. Although 13th, Bradford are just two points off the play-off places and their latest outing shows they have to be considered contenders for a top seven finish.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.