Bradford and Dons do battle in League One promotion picture
Only a home win for Bradford City (19/10 with Coral) over fellow cup giant-killers MK Dons on Monday night will see them climb back into League One’s top six.
It’s Oldham Athletic that have capitalised on the Bantams drawing with Port Vale in the last round of matches, and also seeing Sheffield United slump to a shock loss Gillingham and Rochdale’s home game with Leyton Orient called off.
Karl Robinson’s Dons, 7/5 favourites for three points at Valley Parade, meanwhile, have slipped behind Swindon Town in the race for automatic promotion after holding league leaders Bristol City to a stalemate, but can go back second with a draw (23/10).
These two teams have never shared the spoils in nine previous league encounters, however, and whatever the result either Phil Parkinson’s side or the Milton Keynes club will lose ground in regard to their respective ambitions.
Robinson has replaced loan star striker Benik Afobe, sold by Arsenal to Championship club Wolves in the winter window, with Manchester City’s Devante Cole, son of former prolific Premier League frontman Andy.
‘Cole the goal’ junior bagged a brace on the Dons’ last away day, a 5-0 romp at relegation-threatened Crewe Alexandra. A repeat performance or better at Bradford is an 8/1 shot, and he is a safer 6/4 in the anytime market alongside fellow forward Will Grigg.
Most neutral eyes will be on scoring midfielder Dele Alli, however, who was snapped up by Spurs on deadline day, but loaned back to Milton Keynes for the rest of the campaign.
Big things are expected from this teenage sensation, who has a dozen league goals for his hometown team the Dons. Alli is a fabulous 4/1 to add to that tally anytime.
Former captain Keith Andrews has re-joined Milton Keynes on loan and should sit further back than young Alli. Shielding a back four that has kept four clean sheets in their last five league outings is likely to be his brief, and Robinson’s team are 12/5 to shut the Bantams out and 15/4 to win to nil.
For Bradford, Portuguese midfielder Filipe Morais has been rejuvenated by scoring against old club Chelsea in that monumental FA Cup shock. He has netted in each of the last three games, and is thus outstanding value at 5/1 to continue his purple patch with another goal anytime here.
Jon Stead, meanwhile, can look forward to facing former club Sunderland in the next round of the cup, and has found the target in two of the Batnams’ previous three home games. Odds of 7/4 say the striker will score again.
Former Black Cats midfielder Billy Knott is also awaiting a reunion, and is better in the anytime market at 7/2. Parkinson also has James Hanson up front, and he grabbed the only goal in this fixture at Valley Parade last term. He is 6/1 to net the opener again.
As Bradford’s form is not the best against teams in and around them, back MK Dons to win but both teams to score at 15/4.