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Bradford City
EFL Trophy | Semi-Finals
Feb 21, 2024 at 8pm UK
The Utilita Energy Stadium
Wycombe Wanderers

0 - 1

McDonald (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Butcher (90+1')
Low (67'), Leahy (85')

Preview: Bradford City vs. Wycombe Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's EFL Trophy clash between Bradford City and Wycombe Wanderers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both looking to book their place at a Wembley final, League Two Bradford City will host League One Wycombe Wanderers in the semi-finals of the EFL Trophy at the University of Bradford Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Bantams have been in impressive form ahead of this last-four clash, while the Chairboys' third-tier campaign has begun to stutter following a brilliant January.

Match preview

Graham Alexander, now in charge of Motherwell, pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Bradford find themselves 90 minutes away from a cup final at the iconic Wembley Stadium courtesy of their 1-0 success over Doncaster Rovers in the previous round, when a second-half strike from Harry Chapman was enough to win the last-eight contest and book a meeting with League One opposition.

Since that success over Grant McCann's men, the Bantams have enjoyed a four-game unbeaten run as they strive for promotion from League Two via the playoffs, with Wednesday's hosts winning back-to-back home matches against MK Dons and strugglers Sutton United by an aggregate score of 5-0 over the past week.

A third-straight win at the University of Bradford Stadium in the space of eight days would afford Bradford the chance of adding to their only other major honour, with the Yorkshire side lifting the FA Cup in 1910-11, highlighting how big a fixture the visit of Wycombe is on Wednesday.

After struggling for goals during ill-fated spells at the likes of Walsall and Mansfield Town, 33-year-old Andy Cook is ageing like fine wine at the top of the Bantams' attack, finding the net on 13 occasions in 30 second-tier appearances - eight more times than any of his teammates.

Graham Alexander's charges have battled through a run of tricky fixtures in this year's EFL Trophy to make it to this stage, beating League One Barnsley as well as the academy sides of Manchester City and Liverpool on the way to Wednesday's semi-final clash with the Chairboys.

Wycombe's run in the knockout stages of this competition has pitted them exclusively against academy outfits up to this point, with the Chairboys seeing off the youngsters of Fulham, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion by an aggregate scoreline of 9-4 to punch their ticket for the final four.

Although the six-point gap to 21st-placed Cheltenham Town gives the Chairboys some room to manoeuvre in the fight for survival in League One, Matt Bloomfield will not want his side extending their winless run in the division past two matches, with Wycombe losing at Bolton Wanderers and drawing to Oxford United over the last week.

Despite operating in a central-midfield role, Luke Leahy currently leads the Wanderers' Golden Boot race with eight third-tier strikes from 30 appearances, and the 31-year-old has additionally provided five assists, meaning that he is head and shoulders above his teammates in that metric also.

The Bantams and the Chairboys have already squared off in a cup competition this term at the University of Bradford Stadium back in November, when a Killian Phillips strike and an own goal from Bradford's Sam Stubbs fired the visitors into the second round of the FA Cup.

Bradford City EFL Trophy form:

Bradford City form (all competitions):

Wycombe Wanderers EFL Trophy form:

Wycombe Wanderers form (all competitions):

Team News

Bradford are monitoring the fitness of Jake Young, who missed the narrow success over Sutton on the weekend due to a slight ankle issue.

Plymouth Argyle loanee Tyreik Wright returned to the Bantams bench after four weeks out due to an injury, and the Irishman could earn a start on Wednesday night.

Clarke Oduor has produced some eye-catching performances over recent weeks, and the 24-year-old is expected to keep his place in the forward line alongside Calum Kavanagh and leading marksman Cook.

After drawing a blank against Oxford last time out, Bloomfield could freshen up the Wycombe attack on Wednesday, with the likes of Richard Kone and Chem Campbell pushing for starts.

Top goalscorer Leahy is expected to return to the XI after featuring off the bench against the U's, meaning youngster Freddie Potts could be demoted to a substitute role.

Following a first clean sheet since December 29 on the weekend, Joseph Low and Ryan Tafazolli will continue as the centre-back pairing in front of Maksymilian Stryjek.

Bradford City possible starting lineup:
Walker; Tomkinson, Platt, Kelly; Halliday, Stubbs, Gilliead, Ridehalgh; Oduor, Kavanagh, Cook

Wycombe Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Stryjek; Grimmer, Low, Tafazolli, Vincent-Young; Scowen, Leahy, McCleary, Taylor, Sadlier; Kone

SM words green background

We say: Bradford City 1-2 Wycombe Wanderers

Bradford have been impressive at Valley Parade in recent weeks, but the visit of League One Wycombe will be their toughest assignment of 2024 so far.

The Chairboys earned a respectable point against promotion-chasing Oxford on Saturday, so Bloomfield's men should be confident of getting the job done in West Yorkshire on Wednesday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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