Match Preview: Bristol Rovers vs Bradford City

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Bristol Rovers host West Yorkshire side, Bradford City this Saturday at the Memorial Stadium. Bradford City currently sit in 5th position in the table after drawing 2-2 with Gillingham last week. However, Rovers were pushed back down into 10th place after a goalless draw at Rochdale.

Previous Fixture:

The two clubs have not played each other since the beginning of the season back in September 2016. The Pirates made the 200-mile journey up to the Valley Parade where Bradford defender, James Meredith put the Bantams 1-0 up after finishing with a header from Mark Marshall’s deflected shot. However, it wasn’t until the 78th minute, when former loanee, Charlie Colkett was substituted on for Billy Bodin; only three minutes later did the 20-year-old midfielder secure a point for the Pirates after French captain Romain Vincelot slipped in the penalty box, making it an easy shot for him to finish.

Three To Watch:

Mark Marshall – Winger

Mark Marshall has been a man to watch since scoring two goals and two assists in January, giving him a nomination for the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month award. What makes him a threat? Marshall is known especially for his pace – and so, he is able to outwit the defenders in their attacking third. Bristol Rovers have previously highlighted their defence as an area of improvement, and with Marshall’s pace, it may be hard for them to keep up with him and get the ball out of the box.

Josh Cullen – Midfielder

Josh Cullen has been exceptional this season. He makes retaining possession look effortless and is one of those players that always seems to have so much time on the ball. He’s only scored one goal this season; back in August 2016. However, similarly to Marshall, he has good pace and skill with the ball. This may be a threat to Bristol Rovers as he may be the man who could dictate and create chances for other teammates.

James Meredith – Defender

James Meredith is a versatile player. He is usually played as a left-back but does not have any problems when played as a centre-back or in midfield. Described as an “attack-minded” player with exceptional pace, the Australian has scored two goals this season for Bradford City. Meredith is not a new face to Bristol Rovers as he scored for the Bantams back in their previous fixture against Rovers. Therefore, the Pirates need to be focused on the full-back.

Prediction:

As a Bristol Rovers fan, I’d love for the Pirates walk away with three points. Bradford have been a threat in the league but recent form suggests Rovers have a good chance in this one. Bradford have lost two of their last five away games, while Bristol Rovers have won all five recent home games. However, I have a feeling that the match end Bristol Rovers 2-2 Bradford City.

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