Carlisle United vs Bradford City odds and betting statistics
Carlisle United vs Bradford City recommended bets
Carlisle United vs Bradford City match preview
These two finished level on points after 46 league games and, as predicted, there wasn’t much to separate them in Sunday night’s first leg either.
Much to the delight of over 20,000 supporters in attendance at Valley Parade, it was Bradford City who managed to break the deadlock.
Andy Cook’s knock-down was collected by Jamie Walker, who fired a shot between the legs of goalkeeper Tomáš Holý.
Carlisle dominated the second half, but were unable to find an equaliser, meaning 1-0 it finished in West Yorkshire.
So, can Bradford make that advantage count, or will second leg home advantage prove crucial for Carlisle?
Whatever happens, the hosts have enjoyed a remarkable campaign, finishing fifth in the table, 15 places and 23 points better off than last year.
The Cumbrians have been rooted in League Two since suffering relegation in 2014, with their sole play-off campaign during this period seeing them ousted 6-5 over two legs by Exeter six years ago.
Paul Simpson’s side did beat Bradford 1-0 at home on Boxing Day, so will be hopeful of another victory here.
As for the Bantams, they were in League One as recently as 2019, but this season’s finish of sixth is their highest since.
Bradford’s last two play-off campaigns have both ended in defeats at the hands of Millwall, ousted by the South London side in both 2016 and 2017.
Led by Mark Hughes, undoubtably the most high-profile manager in the division, the feel-good factor has returned to Valley Parade, so they’ll take a huge following down to Wembley, should they progress.
Who will prevail at Brunton Park, thereby keeping their hopes of a return to League One alive?
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