December 11th Was A Great Night For The Bantams, But What Will The Villa Tie Hold?
|City will take on Aston Villa over two legs|
Once again, the Sky Sports cameras will descend onto a packed Valley Parade, for what is set to be another thrilling cup clash. The tie’s already attracted much attention: for tickets, supporters gathered from as early as 6am and the queues snaked right round to the rear of the old shop, with Dynamo and the trophy itself making appearances. After the victory over Arsenal, nearly the whole country will be rooting for Bradford, desperate to see whether the underdogs can move one step closer to becoming the first League 2 team to progress to the final.
So, can they? Well…
City might not be on the best run of form at the moment, but neither are their opponents. Of late, Villa’s defence has left a lot to be desired: they’ve got the worst goal difference in the Premier League. I’m sure that many fancy the Bantams to take advantage of this and score a few in the home leg, and keeping a clean sheet would eliminate the away goal factor for them (The ruling would come into play if it’s a draw after both matches.). This would take the pressure off for the second game, although it’s likely that City’s tactics for this match will depend on how things are shaping up later.
Villa seem to be confident of victory-they’ve already started promising their fans tickets to the cup final. However, Bradford won’t roll over easily. The team have got a great spirit and the whole squad is so versatile: Doyle, for example, has shown that he is capable of playing in midfield and more defensive roles, whilst Meredith is strong at the back and exerts an influence on the attacking side of things. Even when plagued by injury, the boys still put up a fight, and that’s something that Villa will need to be wary of.
On the officiating front, having referees of the calibre of Sian Massey and Howard Webb is testament to just how far that City have come. One has had the experience of a World Cup final and both regularly referee top-flight games-it’s going to be really exciting.
Just as Wigan and Arsenal did, Villa expect to emerge triumphant, and the away goal ruling makes it harder to get the games to penalties.
As City have proven, though, anything is possible.