Leeds managerial madness a platform for another Bantams cup run
Leeds United have beaten Bradford City, but with the Bantams being on target in each of their last three head-to-heads. United are 19/4 chances with Coral to record victory in 90 minutes at Valley Parade, with the hosts finding the net too.
Whites head coach Dave Hockaday, who never feared for his job despite club president Massimo Cellino openly admitting he almost sacked him in the wake of a heavy defeat at Watford, is 17/10 to guide United to a win. Bradford, who were finalists in the Capital One Cup just two seasons ago, start as 8/5 favourites to knock their more illustrious neighbours out in normal time.
Odds of 9/4 say this tie will be drawn, which means extra time and potentially penalties. Goals have been difficult to come by for Leeds, and Hockaday is hampered by the loss of his match winner from the last round, Souleymane Doukara. He bagged a brace in the win over Accrington Stanley, but is now injured.
Summer signing Billy Sharp has the only other goal Whites supporters have celebrated this season. He is 5/4 to endear himself to the travelling faithful by scoring against the Bantams. Target man Matt Smith, meanwhile, famously grabbed goals for Oldham Athletic in cup competitions, so a 6/4 price for him to net anytime may be worth a shout.
Bradford’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by League One promotion rivals Peterborough United last time out, and happily Hockaday has a player poached from Posh ranks to call upon in attack here. Winger Nicky Ajose got 17 goals last term, so back him at 6/4 as well to follow up what his former teammates did by scoring against Phil Parkinson’s side.
James Hanson has netted as many for the Bantams this campaign as the whole Leeds team. Two of his three goals have opened the scoring, so consider odds of 6/1 on him netting first. If Bradford get a penalty, then Irish left back Alan Sheehan, once on the books at Elland Road, takes a mean spot kick. It’s also 6/1 that he takes a chance anytime.
Aaron McLean scored the first round winner at Morecambe for the Bantams. There’s another Peterborough connection here, then, but this Posh old boy could fire Parkinson past their fierce local rivals and odds of 13/2 say he will net last.
With Whites players wondering how long Hockaday will last and suspensions for Sam Byram and Giuseppe Bellusci, this is a great chance for their West Yorkshire rivals to get their first win over them since 1986. Given Leeds’ struggles in front of goal, punters should consider a Bradford clean sheet at 23/1.
Last, and by no means least, lest we forget this is a derby. In recognition of that, Coral have opened a special market on there being a sending off. Punters can stake a maximum of £20 on a red card being branded at a Bantams or Whites player, and receive odds of 9/2.