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Match Previews

PREVIEW | County Back at Rodney Parade for Bradford City League Clash this Saturday

21 February 2020

Newport County AFC will be looking to put midweek penalty heartbreak behind them when they take on Play-Off chasing Bradford City at Rodney Parade. This will be just the second meeting of the sides after their meeting earlier in the season at Valley Parade.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League Two matchup...

Bradford City in League Two so far

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Bradford City currently sit in ninth place in the League Two table and are just three points off the Play-Off places, after their relegation from League One last season.

Despite this, the Bantams have seen many changes over the course of this season. Gary Bowyer was replaced by Stuart McCall as manager in February, and they have also lost their top scorer James Vaughan to League One Tranmere.

City are coming off the back of a tough 2-1 loss to Cambridge after a late Harvey Knibbs goal in injury time.

 

Team News

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Bradford look to have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's fixture. Glenn Middleton made his debut for the Bantams last week and looks set to keep his place in the squad.

County’s well documented injury woes go on, with several first team members unavailable. Ryan Haynes left the pitch early in the week, meaning Michael Flynn looks to again have to deal with a lack of defenders.

Otis Khan should come back into the squad after being unavailable against his parent club Mansfield Town last week.

 

One to Watch – Lee Novak

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Lee Novak was brought in by Bradford on the January deadline day to replace top scorer James Vaughan, who departed to Tranmere Rovers.

Since joining the Bantams, Novak has played three games and scored in his first two outings. The striker scored in a 1-1 draw with Grimsby and a 3-1 victory against Stevenage.

Novak is an established Football League striker, with 144 appearances for Huddersfield Town, and spells at Birmingham, Charlton and Scunthorpe.

 

Manager – Stuart McCall

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Stuart McCall is in his third spell at Valley Parade after Gary Bowyer’s departure earlier in the season.

The 55-year-old took over on February 4th, and since then Bradford have drawn with Grimsby, beaten Stevenage and lost to Cambridge.

The Scot had previously been in charge of the Bantams from 2007-10 and 2016-18.

McCall also played for City in two different spells during his career, making 238 appearances in his first period and 157 in his second.

 

Last Meeting Between the Sides

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The last meeting between the two sides saw Bradford come out on top in a tight affair at Valley Parade.

The only goal came from the penalty spot after Nick Townsend brought down forward James Vaughan.

In a game of few clear chances, Bradford did just enough to get the three points.

 

Officials

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Referee: Joshua Smith

Assistant Referee 1: Darren Wilding

Assistant Referee 2: David Plowright

Fourth Official: Paul Hobday

Joshua Smith will be undertaking his first Rodney Parade fixture on Saturday. He completes County’s list of promoted referees this season, with the other seven having already officiated the Exiles. Smith, at 26 years of age, is the youngest referee in the Football League this season.

In his first season, Smith has refereed 23 games, in which he has given 74 yellow cards and six reds.

Last season in the National League, Smith officiated 21 matches where he handed out 75 yellow cards and five reds.

 

 

Other League Two fixtures that afternoon (All 3pm kick-offs)

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Carlisle United v Morecambe FC

Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town

Crawley Town v Stevenage FC

Crewe Alexandra v Macclesfield Town

Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic

Northampton Town v Exeter City

Plymouth Argyle v Cambridge United

Salford City v Colchester United

Scunthorpe United v Forest Green Rovers

Swindon Town v Grimsby Town

Walsall FC v Port Vale

 

Can’t make the match?

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You can follow along on social media using @NewportCounty on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Commentary of this match will be provided by Charlie Brown and Richard Shepherd at the Match Centre from 2:45pm.

An on-the-whistle match report of this match will be provided on the Club website upon the end of the game.

Michael Flynn’s post-match analysis will appear on the website the day after the game, while you can watch all of Flynn’s post-match press conference as-well as two County players by subscribing to iFollow Exiles now.


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