Can Managerless Bradford City Defeat An Unconvincing Portsmouth?
Credit – Shutterstock.com
After less than six months in charge of Bradford City, David Hopkin has resigned as manager, which could provide an important boost ahead of an important clash with promotion-chasing Portsmouth.
During the first half of the season, Portsmouth were the strongest side in the division, sweeping aside the pre-season favourites as they cemented their place at the top of League One. Their early season form was so good that they were keeping pace with the undefeated streaks of the favourites in Champions League fixtures Liverpool and Manchester City.
All that has changed now and the Blues are currently on a dreadful run of form, having not won a league match since the first game of the New Year, in a 2-1 win over strugglers AFC Wimbledon. They’ve drawn their last five games in League One and their draw against Barnsley at the weekend was their first league clean sheet since the victory over Southend United on 8th December.
Hopkin’s resignation was hardly a surprise, given the Bantams’ poor form, which saw them win just seven of 35 their games under his management. First team coach Martin Drury will take charge of Bradford when they travel to Fratton Park to take on a Portsmouth team who are desperate to restart their season.
But, Bradford’s recent loss at the hands of Walsall, a side who are also relegation threatened and who had lost their last five league matches, is a kick in the teeth and won’t have helped the morale amongst the players.
Bradford at Home
When the former league leaders travelled to Valley Parade earlier in the season, they were frustrated by their struggling hosts and could only eke out a 1-0 win. Gareth Evans scored the winner that day to condemn Bradford to a sixth successive defeat and leave them rooted to the bottom of England’s third tier.
Upsetting the Odds?
Long gone are the days when Fratton Park was considered a fortress. Now, teams know how to play against this Kenny Jackett team and can easily walk away with at least a point. The Portsmouth fans are beginning to show their frustrations, particularly with how one-dimensional their team is. The system and tactics might have worked for the first half of the season, but when the rot set in, Jackett needed to change things up and as yet, he seems reluctant to do so.
Losing Ben Thompson in January has arguably been their biggest loss. His recall by Millwall has left a huge hole in the centre of the Pompey midfield. The horsepower of the engine has been cut massively since his departure and never significantly replaced. Think of taking out a Ferrari engine and replacing it with that of a Ford Focus. It’s not dreadful, just nothing compared to what it once was.
Bradford can take heart knowing that they are up against a side very much out of form, but they need to be aware that although this Portsmouth side aren’t what they once were, they still have players capable of punishing any mistakes they make. If Martin Drury focuses on stifling Portsmouth’s style of play that has long been implemented this season, then Bradford could leave Fratton Park out of the relegation zone.
Football Betting Tips
Latest Free Bets
Follow Us on Twitter
Recommended Free Bet
Sign Up Bonus: £10 free bet - £10 deposit
Football Bet Profit Rating: 4/5