Bradford resume their quest for another cup final day – but this time the challenge can’t be much tougher for the Bantams. The League One side who will be in FA Cup fourth round action this Saturday, will take on Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues do post a good record in this tournament of late. The West London side will be hoping to add to their four FA Cup trophies in the last eight seasons – but the visit of Bradford will provide a tougher test than people may think.
The West Yorkshire side have been in good form of late in League One as they went 10 games unbeaten in League One. Bradford’s results in their last few games however have been disappointing – and they have lost two of their last three games. Despite those two defeats Bradford are in a respectable fifth position – but are sweating over their play off place with those defeats, which has allowed rival teams to close the gap.
The game against Chelsea could prove a welcome distraction however. The Bantams who enjoyed a memorable League Cup campaign in 2013 where they reached the final, will most definitely have their work cut out in this game.
The Blues who will be at home for this fourth round tie, will be expected to win – which sometimes can be an added pressure with in itself. Chelsea who have arguably the best side in the Premier League, are five points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City. The West London club did lose some points over the Christmas period – but have bounced back superbly as the Blues look for glory on all fronts at home and in Europe.
If you were to analyse this game on the outside, one would most definitely say that this game will end in a Chelsea win -but strange things happen in the FA Cup, that’s what makes the cup so great! Watford although 3-0 losers, did compete bravely with Chelsea in round three.
Manchester United have been held at then Conference side Exeter at Old Trafford in the past so the outcome of this fourth round tie between Chelsea and Bradford isn’t a forgone conclusion. Let’s not forget Bradford do have previous in beating Premier League sides as Aston Villa and more notably Arsenal have succumbed to Bradford City in the League Cup. So you can’t really say anytime is safe from a ‘giant killing’ isn’t that right Manchester United fans?
This match is different though right? I mean Jose ‘the special one’ Mourinho is the manager of Chelsea let’s not forget – but that in itself doesn’t guarantee success surely. It’s 11 men Vs 10 and Eden Hazard (just joking Chelsea fans) so surely it’s an equal playing field, both teams chase a round ball and aim to put that ball in the goal more than the other.
If it only it was that simple. Chelsea many feel (yours truly included), have an abundance of talent at their disposal. The Blues boast of attacking talent such as Willian, Oscar, Fabregas and some bloke called Costa isn’t that bad either – and I am not talking about the fella who run owns coffee chain here.
The 26 year old Diego Costa who was signed from Ateltico Madrid this summer has been nothing short of sensational. The former Ateltico striker has scored 17 goals this year, that was more than Samuel Etoo, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba scored in the entire season- enough said.
Bradford on the other hand might not have the super stars, like their premier league counterparts – but they don’t lack in team spirit. The Bantams showed already in this years FA Cup that they can compete against higher competition after impressively sweeping Millwall aside 4-0 in the last round.
The Bantams as we know can boast that they have beaten premier league opposition in the past, Arsenal and Aston Villa fans won’t need reminding of that . As for Chelsea however, I think that they will not be the next premier league scalp for Bradford I am afraid.
This is Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea we’re talking about. The Portuguese manager always knows how to tactically out think an opponent it seems. This Chelsea side as much as they have been praised for their brilliant football, can play with ‘their sleeves rolled up’ and get ‘stuck in’ I feel they will have to on Saturday.
If I was a betting man I would go for a 2-0 Chelsea win with Oscar scoring in the 25th minute and Costa doubling the lead in the 83rd minute. That’s not an invitation to go to William Hill by the way. If Bradford do lose like many expect them to, it would be far from a tragedy. FA Cup produces good ‘pay days’ for the so called smaller clubs – and Bradford will benefit from that no doubt.
More money would hopefully mean more playing talent, which would help Bradford to get to the next level, no Bradford fan wouldn’t want that.