Date: 29th September 2006 at 9:57am
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Tranmere travel to the Bradford & Bingley Stadium (formerly Valley Parade) tommorow to face 6th place Bradford City.

Rovers will need to take something from the game with a number of teams closing in on our 2nd place position, our hosts for tommorow’s game included.

Bradford signed some good players in the summer, reinvigorating the side with the likes Jermaine Johnson, David Graham, Lee Holmes as well as former Man Utd youngster Eddie Johnson and former Super White Army favourite Alan Rogers.

This will be as tricky a game as Rovers have had this term, especially as we’re missing a few key players and looking a little weary at the moment – a draw would probably be not that bad a result.

Vital Quotes:

With Rovers definitely missing Gareth Taylor, and sweating on the fitness of Calvin Zola, it seems Steve Davies will start his first game of the season along side Chris Greenacre. Speaking to the official site, Ronnie Moore said “It looks like Davies will get a chance, if he does well, he stays in. He’s got a lot of ability and is a workaholic, so with him and Greenacre, the Bradford back four will know they’ve been in a game.”

Moore added “It also looks like (Chris) McCready will be out, so we’re losing some height and strength in the team. Its another opportunity for Shane (Sherriff), if he gets back in there and we keep a clean sheet then he stays in.”

Speaking to Bradford’s Official Site, Bantams manager Colin Todd said that he is “licking his lips” at the prospect of the game and hoping to see more of the same form which has made Bradford “a joy to watch” in the eyes of the City manager, so far this season.

Bradford City Team News:

Dean Windass will face no punishment after his ‘ball-tampering’ in the game with Cheltenham, the journeyman appeared to grab the groinal region of Cheltenham player John Finnegan, who was then later sent off for elbowing Windass. Why aren’t we surprised!?

Player to watch: Dean Windass

The 37 year old striker netted a brace against Doncaster midweek and is always a handful. He has scored against us a fair bit over the last few seasons too and will no doubt be looking to continue that trend on Saturday. Wigan were reportedly in the hunt for him yet again before the transfer window shut at the end of August; The big centre forward has scored 7 league goals so far this term, and if he scores tomorrow it will be the 200th of his career.

Tranmere Rovers Team News:

Gareth Taylor is expected to be out for up to 6 weeks with a fractured jaw. The big front man sustained the injury against former club Nottingham Forest a week ago. Calvin Zola is struggling with a knock and Chris McCready is definitely out after being forced to come off against Huddersfield.
After collecting five bookings this term, midfielder Paul McLaren misses out through suspension.

Player to watch: Steve Davies

The young Rovers striker will be desperate to impress and make the most of a rare start. Still only 18 years of age and with bags of talent and potential, he’ll look to harry the opposing defenders, get amongst them and most of all – get on the scoresheet for the Whites.

Match Facts & Stats

The teams shared the points last season, a 2-2 draw at Prenton Park and a 0-0 stalemate at Valley Parade. The Bantams however did knock Rovers out of the F.A Cup at in the 1st round last year, with a 2-1 win at Valley Parade. Chris Greenacre had put Rovers ahead, but a hugely disputable Lee Crooks goal and Dean Windass strike handed City the tie.

Match Prediction:

I predict a tough match and confidence may well be low after the 2nd half collapse against Huddersfield.

Bradford 2-0 Tranmere, with Windass and Bridge-Wilkinson the scorers. Don’t be too disheartened if this indeed is the result – as this could well be one of the trickiest games of the season for the Whites.

Next Fixtures:

Coca-Cola League One
Swansea VS Tranmere
Friday 6th October
The Liberty Stadium
7:45 K.O.