MATCH PREVIEW: United host the Bantams

The Bantams head to Brunton Park in a decent vein of form that has seen them climb steadily up the table.

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  Bradford wins Draws Carlisle wins
League 20 13 14
Cup 0 0 1
League Cup 0 1 1
FA Cup 1 0 1
Total 21 14 17

Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars were handed the reins on an 'interim' basis following the departure of Stuart McCall in December, and their positive impact was almost immediate, having won three of their first four games.

Trueman (32) and Sellars (28) were academy coaches prior to stepping up and have been assisted by the appointment of former-Barrow boss Lee Turnbull in the head of rexruitment role.

January was busy with keeper Will Huffer becoming the first arrival, a surprise capture from local club Bradford Park Avenue.

Winger Jordan Stevens then came on-loan from Leeds at the start of what was a flurry of activity. Defender Niall Canavan (Plymouth) and striker Rumarn Burrell (Middlesbrough) came through the door as forward Kurtis Guthrie went the other way to Port Vale.

Attacking options were bolstered again when Danny Rowe was bagged for an undisclosed fee from Oldham, and Andy Cook made a loan move from Mansfield as the transfer window ticked towards its close.

And the forward thinking approach continued as Charles Vernam and Ollie Crankshaw penned permanent deals from Burton and Wigan respectively.

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The Bantams have lost just two of their 11 games in 2021, with seven wins and two draws making up the numbers.

Tuesday's away game at Newport was the second of those two defeats, despite the fact they'd taken the lead through Andy Cook just after the break.

Their form prior to that midweek disappointment has turned their season around as they now find themsleves within sight of the top seven places, with games in hand on most of those above them.

Defensively they are stubborn, with 35 goals conceded, and their January activity has left them with a range of potent attacking options.

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With the team on a high you could pick a number of in-form players, and we all know that Andy Cook can lead the line well.

But, whether on the bench or starting, the experienced Danny Rowe is a real handful.

He started on Tuesday, and came on for Cook last weekend to notch a dramatic injury time equaliser against Bolton, showing yet again that he's another player who knows where to be and when to be there.

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Rhys Bennett bagged the only goal of the game in December 2020 to earn the Cumbrians a deserved away win.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

A game blighted by red cards went the way of the Bantams back in September, as they bagged three in response to Olufela Olomola's early opener, but the match became a difficult one to measure for the Blues following a first-half sending off for Jack Bridge.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

We hadn't seen Bradford prior to that since the 1-0 home victory at Brunton Park back in February 2014. Striker Lee Miller scored the only goal of the game - and it was an absolute stunner - and keeping goal for the Blues that night was a certain young man called Jordan Pickford.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

A more recent meeting between the teams was the July 2018 pre-season friendly, played at Brunton Park. It was a tight game with the winner coming in time added on when Richie Bennett got on the end of a deflected Hallam Hope shot.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

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Referee - Ollie Yates
Assistant Referee 1 - Joe Simpson
Assistant Referee 2 - Billy Smallwood
Fourth Official - Chris Isherwood
Observer - Nigel Miller

Our referee for this fixture is Mr Ollie Yates.

He has taken charge of 22 games so far this season showing 71 yellow cards and two reds.

One of those games was our recent trip to Hayes & Yeading for our FA Cup first round encounter. Jon Mellish netted twice in the depths of extra time to take it to a penalty shoot-out, with Gav Reilly bagging the decisive spot kick. Dean Furman and Omari Patrick picked up yellow cards.

He was at Brunton Park back in October 2016 for the visit of Crawley. Jabo Ibehre, Jason Kennedy and Luke Joyce scored our goals in a 3-1 victory, and Mark Ellis was the only Carlisle player to be booked on the day.

We then met him at Cambridge in September 2018 when we ran out as 2-1 winners at the Abbey. Richie Bennett and Ash Nadesan netted for us, and Adam Campbell was the solitary booking handed out during the 90 minutes.

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This is a behind closed doors fixture. 

Please see above for details on how to purchase a live streaming match pass to see all of the action on iFollow.

Alternatively click HERE to go directly to our iFollow United information page where you can also purchase your match pass - match passes cost £10 per game.

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