Bradford - Swansea Preview: League Two side hoping to spoil Swans first ever major final in Capital One Cup climax
Both sides head to Wembley on the back of poor league form with the Bantams, who are only the second fourth-tier side to make the final of the competition, hoping for another upset
By John Stammers
Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good
Atkinson, Jones, Doyle, Hines
Rangel, Williams, Tiendalli, Davies
Routledge, De Guzman, Britton, Dyer
Despite some suggestions that Bradford would be better off winning promotion and exiting the cup, now that they are in the final manager Phil Parkinson will name his strongest possible line-up.
The Bantams have no fresh injury worries and are therefore expected to name the same starting line-up that began both legs of the semi-final victory over Aston Villa.
Goalkeeper Matt Duke, who has impressed throughout the tournament, will continue between the sticks, while James Hanson, who used to stack shelves in a supermarket, should keep his place up front.
Michael Laudrup has virtually a full-strength squad to pick from, Neil Taylor and Chico Flores (both ankle) his only absentees, and with the Swans boss resting key names in the defeat to Liverpool he is likely to ring the changes and bring his star men back into the fray.
Dwight Tiendalli could replaced Flores at the back, while Michu, Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge all started on the bench in the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool but should all feature from the off at Wembley.
Kyle Bartley, Garry Monk, Roland Lamah, Kemy Agustien and Itay Shechter are thus all likely to drop out of the starting line-up.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bradford will be only the second team from the fourth tier of English football to play in the Capital One Cup final, the other, Rochdale in 1962, lost 3-0 to Norwich.
- If they manage to lift the trophy they will become only the second team outside the top flight (after Sheffield Wednesday) to eliminate four Premier League sides in the same run (having dumped Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa out already).
- The League Two side are seven points off the play-off places having won just one league game in 2013 - making their cup run all the more unbelievable.
- Bradford's last major domestic cup final came way back in 1911 when they beat Newcastle in a FA Cup final replay.
- The Bantams lost their last league outing 2-1 away to bottom-of-the-table Wimbledon, hardly the perfect preparation for a cup final at Wembley.
- Bradford captain Gary Jones (pictured) was given his first professional contract in the Football League by Swansea in 1997, where he made eight appearances for the club under three managers
- Swansea, however, have managed just two wins in their last eight games across all competitions, failing to find the net in six of them and losing their last 5-0 to Liverpool.
- Laudrup's men's last goal away from the Liberty Stadium came at Stamford Bridge in the Capital One Cup semi-final back in early January.
- Sunday will be the Welsh side's first ever major domestic cup final.
- Should the final go to penalties, the League Two side may well be favourites after winning their last nine successive shoot-outs, including two in this competition, a record for any English club.
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Top 3 Predictions
Bradford City 0-2 Swansea City
- 16.2 %
Bradford City 1-2 Swansea City
- 12.19 %
Bradford City 1-3 Swansea City
- 12.19 %
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||24 Feb 2013||Bradford City 0 - Swansea City 5|
|27 Apr 2013||Cheltenham Town 0 - Bradford City 0||EFL2|
|20 Apr 2013||Bradford City 1 - Burton Albion 0||EFL2|
|16 Apr 2013||Bradford City 0 - Rotherham United 2||EFL2|
|13 Apr 2013||Chesterfield 2 - Bradford City 2||EFL2|
|9 Apr 2013||Bradford City 4 - Bristol Rovers 1||EFL2|
|Returns:||Bradford £1260.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £290.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Swansea City £14.44||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
It has been a dream run thus far for Bradford, seeing off three Premier League sides and enjoying all the drama that has made their achievements special, however, in Swansea they face a quality top-flight outfit whose season, in truth, could be defined by this final. As most finals are, it will probably be tense and cagey, however expect the Welsh outfit to have too much for the League Two outsiders.