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Carlisle United
League Two | Gameweek 23
Dec 26, 2022 at 3pm UK
Brunton Park
Bradford City

1 - 0

FT(HT: 1-0)

Chapman (58'), Wright (86')

Preview: Carlisle United vs. Bradford City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's League Two clash between Carlisle United and Bradford City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Level on points in the top half of the League Two standings, Carlisle United and Bradford City go head to head in a Boxing Day fixture at Brunton Park.

Having both failed to win any of their last three outings respectively, both sides will head into the game looking to arrest their slump and get their season back on track.

Match preview

Mark Hughes in charge of Southampton on September 17, 2018© Reuters

Carlisle United failed to find their feet last Tuesday as were beaten 2-1 by Northampton Town when the sides squared off at the Sixfields Stadium.

Former Preston North End man Jack Armer broke the deadlock five minutes after the interval to hand the visitors the lead but Sam Sherring and Louis Appere scored in a three-minute spell to force a comeback.

Prior to that, Carlisle United were dumped out of the FA Cup in the second round courtesy of a 2-1 loss against Walsall on November 26, before holding out for a 1-1 draw with Sutton United one week later.

However, Paul Simpson's men now return home where they are unbeaten in nine of their 10 league matches this season — claiming four wins and five draws — with a 3-2 loss against Leyton Orient on October 22 being the only exception.

With 33 points from 21 games, the Blues are currently seventh in the League Two table, level on points with Sunday's visitors, but could potentially rise to fourth place with all three points on Monday.

Elsewhere, Bradford City were left empty handed once again as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of high-flying Leyton Orient last time out.

In a one-sided affair at the Breyer Group Stadium, Charlie Kelman, Thomas James and Ruel Sotiriou all found the back of the net to hand the league leaders a third win on the bounce.

The Bantams have now lost each of their last three matches across all competitions, including a 1-0 defeat versus Salford City in the second round of the EFL Trophy on November 22.

Their slump in form has been owing to a lack of sting at the attacking end of the pitch, where Mark Hughes's side have scored just once in their last three outings, while shipping seven goals since a 2-0 win over Sutton United on November 12.

While Bradford City will be looking to stop the rot, next up is a trip to Brunton Park, where they are winless in their last six visits, losing five and claiming one draw since December 2009.

Carlisle United League Two form:

Carlisle United form (all competitions):

Bradford City League Two form:

Bradford City form (all competitions):

Team News

Ben Barclay has missed the last two matches after coming off injured against Walsall on November 26 and the 26-year-old defender is a major doubt for Carlisle United.

He is joined on the club's injury table by Fin Back, while Joel Senior was named on the substitutes' bench last time out for the first time since picking up a severe injury back in February.

Brennan Dickenson will also play no part in Monday's game as he continues his lengthy spell on the sidelines after coming off injury back in July's pre-season clash against Bolton Wanderers.

Bradford City, on the other hand, will be without midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe, who has been out of action since coming off injured in July's league opener against Doncaster Rovers.

With just one goal scored in the last three matches, Hughes could ring some changes at the attacking end of the pitch, with the likes of Jamie Walker and Lee Angol coming in to provide the much-needed firepower up top.

Carlisle United possible starting lineup:
Holy; Whelan, Mellish, Huntington; Ellis, Moxon, Guy, Armer; Gibson, Dennis, Edmonson

Bradford City possible starting lineup:
Lewis; Halliday, Platt, Odusina, Foulds; Smallwood, Gilliead, Angol, Walker, Wright; Cook

SM words green background

We say: Carlisle United 1-1 Bradford City

Carlisle United and Bradford City have suffered a drop-off in form in recent weeks and will head into Monday's game in search of a pick-me-up. Both sides are currently evenly-matched on paper and we predict that they will take a cautious approach to the game and settle for a share of the spoils.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Tables header RHS
1Accrington StanleyAccrington00000000
2AFC Wimbledon00000000
4Bradford CityBradford00000000
6Carlisle UnitedCarlisle00000000
7Cheltenham TownCheltenham00000000
9Colchester UnitedColchester00000000
10Crewe AlexandraCrewe00000000
11Doncaster RoversDoncaster00000000
12Fleetwood TownFleetwood00000000
14Grimsby Town00000000
15Harrogate TownHarrogate00000000
16MK Dons00000000
18Newport CountyNewport00000000
19Notts County00000000
20Port Vale00000000
21Salford City00000000
22Swindon TownSwindon00000000
23Tranmere RoversTranmere00000000

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