BRADFORD VS PORTSMOUTH PREVIEW & PREDICTION
In the third English league, which carries the somewhat strange name for mainland residents “League One” occur on Tuesday evening Bradford City and Portsmouth FC against each other. For Bradford it’s the very last chance to re-connect with the first six places and win the promotion-play-off games, as they are currently ten points behind two coveted ranks in two fewer games. Portsmouth are in seventh place and are thus more promising in the race, but will also have to lay a good final spurt to reach the finish. We analyze which tip could be worthwhile in this interesting game.
Bradford City has been owned by German owner Edin Rahic for almost two years. The Swabian with Bosnian roots, together with his investor partner Stefan Rupp, took over the fortunes of Bradford in May 2016 and sees himself as an active club owner, who is on-site every day and who is in charge of sport and strategy. Against some great resistance, he tries to break the classic English structures with a head coach equipped with omnipotence and a – as usual in Germany – broader sporting leadership to implement and occupies the post of sports director himself. The goal is the fastest possible ascent to the second division and the promotion to the Premier League until the year 2026. After being at the turn of the year at rank 5 of the table and had seven points ahead of seventh place, it went abruptly downhill.
From the next 14 games only 6 points could be retracted, so that you crashed down to place 13 in the table. Also, a coaching change from club legend Stuart McCall (from 2007-2010 as well as 2016-2018 head coach) to Simon Grayson did not bring the hoped-for turn despite high hopes in Grayson, who already has four teams (Blackpool, Leeds, Huddersfield, Preston) the second league has risen, had set. Last Thursday’s 0-0 draw at home to third-placed Shrewsbury continued home to a delicate uplift in home games (a 1-1 home defeat to Gillingham and an unfortunate 1-0 defeat to league leaders Wigan). In the squad of “Bantams” (in German: the Bantam chickens) are with Rouven Sattelmayer, Lukas Raeder (both goal), Kai Brünker and Joel Grodowski (both storm), the direct from the ninth-class (!) German county league A to Bradford City changed, including four Germans, but so far all could not prevail decisively.
Portsmouth FC, a fixture in the Premier League at the beginning of this decade and even an FA Cup finalist in 2010 (many still remember Kevin-Prince Boateng’s foul on Chelsea’s Michael Ballack, which cost him World Cup participation) crashed in the meantime to the fourth league. Last year, they were promoted to league 3, and this season’s march into the second-rate “championship” does not seem impossible. Since August last year, the former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is the sole owner of the club. This has quite ambitions to lead the club back into the Premier League.
Among other things, he underscored these long-term plans as one of his first important acts with coach Kenny Jackett, which he extended until 2021. Outstanding player in the squad is Brett Pitman, who was hired by Ipswich Town in the summer and who has netted on average every 130 minutes, scoring 21 goals this season. Portsmouth have been unbeaten in six games, with last two draws in Rochdale and Plymouth (3: 3 and 0: 0). The first leg lost Portsmouth despite possession, scoring and corner kicks at home with 0: 1. It is quite possible that Bradford will also let Portsmouth FC come in on Tuesday to regain confidence, as he did last time on a solid defensive. For Pompey it will then be important not to be too lured to avoid running into Bradford’s counterattack.
PREDICTION: Both teams to score / NO @ 1.82