EFL Cup: Round 3
Stadium: University of Bolton Stadium
26th September 2023
Bradford City will welcome Middlesbrough at University of Bolton Stadium in Round 3 of the EFL Cup. These teams are meeting for the first time in over 22 years. Who will come out on top after 90 minutes?Receive Your Welcome Bonus!
Bradford City form
Bradford has made a respectable, albeit not particularly dazzling, start to their League Two campaign. They have accumulated 13 points from their initial nine games, positioning them in 11th place, just two points behind the playoff zone.
There are clear indications that the Bantams are beginning to hit their stride, evidenced by a six-game undefeated streak in all competitions. However, it's worth noting that three of these matches ended in draws, including a 1-1 draw against Harrogate Town in their recent home fixture.
Interestingly, in many matches, Mark Hughes's squad has appeared more formidable when playing away from home. They secured victories against Accrington Stanley and Wrexham in the first two rounds of the EFL Cup, propelling them to this stage of the competition.
In their most recent away encounter, the Bantams displayed great promise, triumphing 4-1 against Newport County at Rodney Parade. They raced to a commanding 3-0 lead within the first half-hour of the match. However, they anticipate a considerably tougher challenge on Tuesday night.
Bradford City Predicted Lineup
Lewis; Halliday, Platt, Stubbs, Ridehalgh; Oduor, Gilliead, McDonald, Tulloch; Walker, Cook
Middlesbrough is expected to present a more formidable challenge, as they compete two divisions higher than Bradford City, who currently participate in the Championship. However, Middlesbrough has struggled to meet expectations in the current season.
Currently residing in the relegation zone of the second tier, they hold the 22nd position with just five points from their first eight games. They have exhibited defensive vulnerabilities in several of these matches. Michael Carrick's team suffered a 3-0 defeat against Coventry City in an away fixture in August, followed by a 4-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion in another away game. From their initial four Championship away games, they have only managed to secure one point.
Nonetheless, Middlesbrough progressed to this stage of the competition by defeating Bolton Wanderers 3-1 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium, demonstrating their potential. In their most recent outing, they secured a 2-1 home victory against Southampton, with Riley McGree and Jonny Howson contributing goals. This win should boost their confidence ahead of upcoming matches.
Middlesbrough Predicted Lineup
Glover; McNair, Fry, Lenihan, Engel; Hackney, Barlaser, Crooks; Forss, Jones, Latte Lath
Bradford City vs Middlesbrough Expert Tips
Middlesbrough, having already defeated League One opposition on the road to this stage, are expected to comfortably overcome a mid-table League Two team. Following their recent victory against Southampton, Carrick will hope his Boro side can build on this performance and turn their season around.