Preview: Bradford City vs. Colchester United – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League Two clash between Bradford City and Colchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bradford City are in action at the University of Bradford Stadium for the first time this season when they take on Colchester United in League Two this Saturday afternoon.

The hosts got off to a disappointing start to the campaign, losing away at Crawley Town, with the visitors yet to play a league game, after their opening match against Swindon Town was called off.

Match preview

Bradford City manager Mark Hughes after the match on May 14, 2023© Reuters

Bradford City will once again be looking to get promoted from the fourth tier this season, after losing the playoff semi-final against Carlisle United last term, but they did not get off to the start they were hoping for.

In their trip away to Crawley, the Bantams would have fancied their chances heading into the game, but Will Wright‘s first-half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the visitors’ cause not being helped by Daniel Oyegoke‘s dismissal five minutes before half-time.

Mark Hughes‘ side also struggled in pre-season, winning just one of their six friendly games, but they finally managed to get another win on the board away at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night, despite making things difficult for themselves.

Bradford were drawing 1-1 away at the Wham Stadium when Alex Gilliead was given the perfect opportunity to secure their progression in the EFL Cup from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time, but he was unable to beat Toby Savin.

Gilliead atoned for his miss in the shootout, with Hughes’ side progressing after a terrible penalty from Korede Adedoyin, and they will now be hoping to carry the momentum into their first home game of the season.

Colchester United are an unknown quantity in League Two this season, with their opening match at home against Swindon being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, but they did exhibit some promising signs in pre-season.

Ben Garner‘s side won three, drew two and lost one of their friendly games, most recently defeating League One side Leyton Orient 2-1 with Connor Hall getting on the scoresheet in the second half.

In their first competitive game, the U’s faced the tough test of heading to Championship side Cardiff City in the EFL Cup, and they put up a valiant effort, fighting back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game up before the interval.

Goals from John Akinde and Joe Taylor were enough to send the game to a penalty shootout, but Colchester were unable to get over the line, missing all three spot-kicks and exiting the EFL Cup at the first-round stage.

Bradford City League Two form:

Bradford City form (all competitions):

Colchester United form (all competitions):

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Team News

Mark Hughes in charge of Southampton on September 17, 2018© Reuters

Bradford will be without defensive midfielder Oyegoke as a result of the red card he picked up away at Crawley, meaning Richard Smallwood and Alexander Pattison are poised to get the nod in the engine room.

Andy Cook has failed to score in his first two games this season, but given that the 32-year-old was League Two’s top scorer last term, it should not be long before he finds the back of the net, and he is set to lead the line for the hosts.

Neither Akinde or Taylor were named in the starting lineup for Colchester prior to the late postponement against Swindon last weekend, however with both of them scoring against Cardiff, the two strikers could be rewarded with starts.

Noah Chilvers is set to support the forwards in the number 10 role, where he excelled last season, scoring nine league goals, while Ellis Iandolo is expected to come in at left-back, after being rested for the opening 45 minutes on Wednesday night.

Bradford City possible starting lineup:
Lewis; Stubbs, Platt, Kelly; Halliday, Pattison, Smallwood, Ridehalgh; Walker, Oduor, Cook

Colchester United possible starting lineup:
Goodman; Lawrence, Dallison, Hall, Tchamadeu, Iandolo; Read, Bandeira, Chilvers; Akinde, Taylor

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We say: Bradford City 1-0 Colchester United

Bradford City finished far higher than Colchester United in League Two last season, and while they did not put in a very good performance on the opening day, they should have enough to get their first win on the board this weekend.

Colchester United put up a good fight away against Cardiff in midweek, which indicates they could be an improved side this season, but they are unlikely to take anything from this Saturday’s game.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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