League Two weekend preview: Port Vale can reign at Parade against Bradford
Vale could be fresher
and play with greater focus after Bantams' cup exploits in midweek.
Michael Holden is one of the UK's leading football betting tipsters. A former casino croupier with a deep-rooted curiosity in statistics and probabilities, his passion for betting on the beautiful game stretches back more than two decades. Since graduating as a journalist from the University of Central Lancashire in 2005, he has delivered consistent profits for his legion of followers on Sportinglife.com and produced many groundbreaking feature articles on the application of social science in a football betting context. He is now the editor of Bestofthebets.com having orchestrated the design, build and launch of the new sports betting website for Gaming Media Group during the summer of 2011.
Friday 28 September 2012
Eight games, 16 points.
It's a positive start no matter who you are and what level you're playing at,
but Bradford and Port Vale will be approaching Saturday's game at Valley
Parade in slightly contrasting mental states after events of the past seven
days, and we reckon the visitors will be more grounded and determined.
The two clubs have been languishing in the basement for longer than they care to acknowledge - the Bantams are now in their sixth season since relegation, the Valiants in their fifth - but early results suggest both have good reason to target an automatic promotion tilt.
For Bradford, the realisation is still raw. Every summer, they do a grand job of convincing themselves they should be taken seriously but seldom does the optimism stretch beyond a few outings. This time around, they have amassed more points come the end of September than the last two seasons combined.
However, excitement hit a new level last Saturday. The Bantams were thoroughly professional in their 2-0 win at Oxford, scoring both goals from set pieces and prompting Phil Parkinson to lift the lid on their intentions based on what he considered to be a momentous result.
However, it was a conclusion undermined somewhat by the remarks of opposite number Chris Wilder, who bemoaned his team "playing without any sort of confidence" on the back of four straight defeats. Parkinson's desire to whip up confidence is admirable, but it could yet be misplaced.
The fall from grace nearly happened in midweek as Bradford came from two goals down to beat Burton 3-2 in extra time of a Capital One Cup third round tie. Of course, such heroics will do confidence no harm but Parkinson's instructions for the players to go out and celebrate on Tuesday night will do little to guard against complacency either. A trip to Wigan awaits in the last 16.
All of which is a far cry from how the Vale players must have felt since their last outing. Micky Adams' men were all geared up for a top-of-the-table clash against Gillingham last Saturday, only for their hopes of usurping the Kent club at the summit to be dashed by a curveball that left them two goals down inside 25 minutes.
The Valiants' defence had surely prepared to play against the Gills' eight-goal top scorer Danny Kedwell, instead they were torn apart by the blistering pace of debutant Robbie Findley, the United States international having joined on a month-long loan from Nottingham Forest the day before.
It was a masterstroke from Martin Allen to secure the services of such a prodigious talent and unleash it with scant warning but Adams wasn't looking for excuses afterwards and we should back the experience Vale boss to turn that humbling experience to his advantage.
Adams had named the same side for ninth game in a row against Gillingham but now he's expected to shake things up as he looks to get a reaction in a game that could have equal bearing on the promotion picture come the end of the campaign. You can get odds of 11/5 about the visitors and that looks decent value in light of their potential greater focus and fitness.
Betting advice: 1pt Port Vale to beat Bradford at 11/5
For more betting advice, visit Best of the Bets by clicking here.
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League final preview: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.