Barnsley battle Bradford, but back a derby day draw
Five of the last seven Yorkshire derbies between Barnsley and Bradford City, and all of the previous four meetings at Oakwell, have been draws. Odds of 9/4 with Coral say the spoils shall be shared in their televised encounter, prior to England’s trip to Estonia, on Sky Sports.
Before this weekend’s full League One fixture programme kicked off, the Bantams sat seventh, just outside the play-offs on goal difference, as they seek a second promotion (12/1) in three seasons. Phil Parkinson’s men are tasty 2/1 chances to come away from Oakwell with all three points.
The Tykes, meanwhile, were three points above the drop zone, and have recorded just one league win at home since March. This slide needs to stop, else successive relegations (12/1) beckon. Danny Wilson’s side are still made 11/8 favourites for victory, though.
Barnsley have injury concerns in defence, as Martin Cranie and Peter Ramage could both miss out, and doubts in wide areas, because Dale Jennings is struggling and Keith Treacy is getting married.
Goal-getting Tykes midfielder Conor Hourihane has netted six this term in the league so far, and is a tempting 10/3 to add to those half dozen goals anytime. Devante Cole, son of Premier League legend Andy, has two in his last three home appearances on loan at Oakwell, so odds of 6/4 say he will be on target here.
Wilson also has League Two’s leading marksman from last term, Sam Winnall, to call upon. He is 11/2 to grab the opener. Barnsley may prefer a more experienced option in attack alongside Cole, and Leroy Lita fits that bill. Now a much-travelled forward, this ex-Reading, Middlesbrough and Swansea City player, is 6/4 to net anytime.
Bradford top scorer James Hanson is 15/8 in the anytime market, but has suffered a setback over a thigh problem in training. A better bet, then, may be on strike partner Aaron McLean, who has netted the opener in two of his last four league outings.
Odds of 13/2 says former Hull City and Peterborough United frontman McLean will grab the first goal. Billy Clarke, once of Ipswich Town, Blackpool and Crawley Town, meanwhile, is a 2/1 chance to score anytime for the Bantams if Hanson is out.
As Bradford have only won twice on the road in league action this term, a draw really does look likely. Odds of 11/2 on the final score being 1-1 look the most tempting, with witnessing clean sheets something of a novelty for Tykes and Bantams fans alike.