Dons To Edge Promotion Clash At Bradford
Jaymes Monte previews and picks out his best bets as two promotion contenders meet at Valley Parade.
Bradford were unable to follow up the heroics of their FA Cup win at Chelsea when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Colchester last weekend, then gave away a last-minute penalty on Saturday to draw 2-2 at Port Vale.
In fact The Bantams would be worthy of a much more lofty league position than their current 9th place, if only they could address their relatively poor home form. Phil Parkinson’s men have won only four of 14 games at Valley Parade this season, although at least more recently they have lost only one and won three of their last six on home soil.
James Hanson scored his eighth goal of the campaign in Saturday’s game and is now the club’s top scorer, but he is ably supported in that department by Jon Stead (7), Billy Knott (7) and Filipe Morais (6) who have all been amongst the goals this season.
The MK Dons slipped out of the automatic promotion positions on Saturday, but won’t have been disappointed following a goalless draw against league leaders Bristol City. It’s now three wins and three draws in the last six games for Karl Robinson’s men.
Midfielder Dele Alli is the club’s top scorer with 12 goals this season, although the Tottenham loanee hasn’t found the back of the net in any of his last three outings.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will not be available for the hosts following his red card in the last minute of the game against Port Vale. Deadline day signing Gary MacKenzie could make his debut after being an unused substitute at the weekend, while Phil Parkinson may opt to make a few other changes given the proximity to Saturday’s game.
Similarly, the MK Dons could opt to make a few changes. Club legend Keith Andrews made his second debut for the club as a late substitute against Bristol City two days ago and could be pushing for a starting berth, but although Ben Reeves is back training with the first team he is unlikely to be ready for this one.
Bradford won 2-1 when the teams met at Stadium:mk earlier this season in the league, but the Dons exacted some revenge with a 2-0 win when they met at the same ground in the Capital One Cup a week later.
Given Bradford’s relatively modest home form and considering the recent form of MK Dons, I couldn’t get involved in backing the hosts here even at odds of 9/5. Instead it is the visitors that look to be the best play with a price of 7/5 offering plenty of value.
The Dons don’t concede many – only one in their last five matches – so we should expect a relatively low-scoring game and can back Under 2.5 goals at a generous 20/23.
That also means there is good value in backing the MK Dons & Under 2.5 goals selection at odds of 17/4, and the No selection at odds of 11/10 in the Both Teams To Score market.