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Bantams boss Phil Parkinson faces FA Cup Royals reunion

| 07.03.2015

Bradford City have won their only previous FA Cup tie with Reading, but this stat comes with the caveat that match took place in January 1907.

What’s more relevant is the Bantams knocking out Premier League opposition in the two rounds prior to the quarter-finals, and Coral have the League One team as equal 13/8 favourites with Championship club the Royals to win this match. A draw, meanwhile, which means a replay in Berkshire, is 23/10.

Home side boss Phil Parkinson faces his former club here, and he played over 400 games in midfield for Reading. “For me personally, it will be a special day,” he said. “It’s a game of real importance and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Reading have a lot of players with Premier League and international experience, we’re just looking forward to testing ourselves,” Parkinson added. “We don’t fear Reading but we definitely respect them. There is an air of confidence amongst the team and as individuals.”

And Steve Clarke’s Royals should hold no fear for Bradford, who stunned Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and then Sunderland on home turf. This definitely makes the Bantams well worth backing in an enhanced 5/1 matchday special to win with both teams being on target. Please note there is a maximum stake of £20 on this bet.

Bradford owe their cup run, and being one win away from another trip to Wembley, to the scoring exploits of striker Jon Stead. He has netted in every round so far, and is 15/8 to do continue that trend anytime against Reading.

Fellow forwards James Hanson (also 15/8) and Billy Clarke (better at 11/4) have also made healthy contributions in recent home games for Parkinson, but there’s goals from midfield too. Billy Knott (11/2) and Portuguese player Filipe Morais (6/1) have three in the cup apiece.

For the visitors, Scottish forward Jamie Mackie has grabbed both of the Royals’ last two goals on the road, and is a tasty 10/3 to score at Valley Parade. Welsh counterpart Hal Robson-Kanu, meanwhile, has netted in the previous couple of rounds for Reading, and is slightly shorter in the anytime market at 11/4.

Clarke can also unleash veteran Nigerian frontman Yakubu on the Bantams, and he grabbed a last 16 winner at Derby County. The popular song about this place says ‘feed the Yak and he will score’. Yakubu is an awesome 8/1 to have the final say again here.

Taking those attractive odds of 5/1 on Bradford beating the Royals and both teams scoring, to book another Wembley outing for Bantams fans, looks a brilliant bet.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.