Conventional wisdom may suggest that Bradford City’s miraculous run to the Capital One Cup final, and their 5-0 hammering at Wembley by Swansea City, would have seen their league season peter out, but the Bantams have gone from strength to strength in the football betting markets since their defeat to the Swans.
In their fifteen league games since the Capital One Cup final Bradford have lost only twice, including a defeat to promoted Rotherham, a run which has seen them sneak into the playoffs after finishing seventh in the league. Having qualified narrowly for the playoffs the Bantams have now secured a return trip to Wembley where they will face Northampton Town on 18th May and, given their form since missing out on a historic victory against Swansea, they will have every confidence of a return to League One next season.
In the last ten games of the season Bradford City sat in third place in the League Two form table, having taken 18 points from a possible 30. During this time Northampton Town sat in 11th place, despite losing just one more game than Phil Parkinson’s men. The key difference between the two sides seems to be their ability in front of goal and this is where Bradford could have the edge on Saturday. During their last ten league games Bradford City scored an average of 1.5 goals per game, not to mention the five goals that they bagged over two legs in the play-off semi final against Burton Albion. Over this period Northampton averaged just 0.9 goals per game compared with their overall season average of 1.4 and they netted just twice over the two legs of their play-off victory over Cheltenham.
It is unclear whether Northampton’s lack of potency in front of goal towards the back end of the season came as a result of fatigue, or if they let their standards slip having ensured qualification for the playoffs, but Bradford City will certainly be confident of outscoring them on Saturday. If the Bantams’ form since the Cup Final defeat is anything to go by, then the game against Northampton should provide them with a great opportunity to banish the memories of their last Wembley trip.