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Burton Albion V Bradford at Pirelli Stadium : Match Preview

04 May 2013 13:31:32

Burton Albion V Bradford at Pirelli Stadium : Match Preview

Burton Albion V Bradford - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Rowett plays down 'favourites' tag

Burton boss Gary Rowett does not believe his side are favourites to reach the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

The Brewers put in an inspired display on Thursday to beat Bradford 3-2 in the semi-final first leg and hold the advantage ahead of their second leg at the Pirelli Stadium.

A stunning first-half showing saw Rowett's men go into the interval 3-1 up, but Garry Thompson's late strike reduced Bradford's deficit and left it all to play for.

Rowett is not getting carried away, despite his side harbouring the best home record in the Football League in the regular season, with 17 wins out of 23 games.

"It's going to be a great game, one goal can swing it again," said Rowett.

"I've been here before. You can sense you have a chance and if you do that it comes up and smacks you on the backside.

"What's important is that we go out there and put a thoroughly professional performance in and give ourselves a chance.

"It'd be very easy to sit in and do the same thing as we did at Bradford, but we're at home and will have to make the running.

"I wouldn't say we are favourites, Bradford are an excellent team and we're not a big enough team to think we are now favourites.

"But we have got the best home record in all of the Football League and that gives us a chance."

Burton forward Calvin Zola is expected to be fit.

Zola, who struck two goals inside the first half an hour in the 3-2 win at Valley Parade, was replaced by Billy Kee in the 67th minute and his fitness will be monitored.

Zola returned to the starting line-up as a lone striker and Rowett could be tempted to recall Kee, Matthew Paterson or Michael Symes alongside him for the home leg.

Rowett has no other new selection worries but is still without midfield pair Lee Bell, who sits out the third game of his four-match ban, and Jack Dyer (ankle ligaments).

Midfielder Adam Drury, on loan from Manchester City, and defender Aaron Webster are in contention to return.

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson is relieved his side travel to Staffordshire only one goal down and insists the pressure is now on the Brewers.

He has vowed his side will put in a better performance than their Valley Parade showing.

"We will go to win the game," he said. "We want to keep our season alive.

"People have said we were favourites, well now the tables have turned, the onus is on Burton to some degree and we have to go down there and put in a good display.

"They are a good side and the challenge for us is to play at our best. The lads have been outstanding this season but we need one more big performance on Sunday.

"We want to play well and come out of it with some credit.

"We want to come off the pitch, whatever the outcome, having given the season justice and if we do that, who knows where it will take us.

"The play-offs do strange things sometimes. We got punished for a disappointing first half on Thursday but we got back in it, but it's a slender lead and I am looking forward to it.

"The mood is one of determination already."

Bradford defender Andrew Davies will return to contention following his one-game suspension.

Parkinson must decide whether to recall Davies to the starting line-up or stick with Rory McArdle and Michael Nelson in central defence.

Kyel Reid will continue to be monitored as he manages an on-going groin problem. The winger stepped off the substitutes' bench and played for just over half an hour in the first leg and suffered no initial reaction.

Parkinson, who has no other new injury or suspension problems, has the option of recalling the likes of midfielder Nathan Doyle, winger Zavon Hines and defender Carl McHugh, but is not expected to make too many changes as his side look to overturn a one-goal deficit.


PA

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