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

:Headline: Preview: Bradford City vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups:ID:364718: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews the pre-season friendly between Bradford City and Liverpool at Valley Parade, including team news and predicted lineups.
By , Senior Reporter | 5d

Liverpool's pre-season campaign continues with a friendly against League Two side Bradford City at Valley Parade on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds made a good start to their summer programme with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers and will be looking to build on that emphatic victory in West Yorkshire this weekend.

Bradford City

A dismal 2018-19 campaign saw Bradford slip into the fourth tier of English football after a six-season stay in League One.

The Bantams' relegation was confirmed with a 2-0 loss to Coventry City on April 19 - their seventh straight defeat.

Their form did improve in the final few games of the campaign as they took five points from the last nine on offer, perhaps offering some hope of an immediate return to League One.

The bookies have Bradford down as the second favourites for promotion, behind only Salford City, but it is clear that Gary Bowyer has plenty of work to do.

City have already played a couple of friendlies this summer, beating Guiseley and Brighouse Town by the same 2-0 scoreline over the past week, although they used the second of those matches as a chance to check out some trialists.

Sunday's match against the European champions will be a far tougher test, of course, and the game has a wider meaning for both teams.

Bradford are using the prestige friendly to help raise awareness for former player Stephen Darby's new foundation, which he set up when forced into early retirement after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

Recent form in pre-season: WW


Jurgen Klopp, as has become customary, used his side's opening pre-season friendly against neighbours Tranmere as a chance to get as many players on the field as possible.

The Reds boss took that to the extreme as third-choice goalkeeper on the night, Dan Atherton, was given 15 minutes as a striker following the loss of fellow youngster Paul Glatzel to injury.

Thirteen players were given a run out at Prenton Park and none of them made more of an impression than Rhian Brewster, who showed his poacher's instincts by scoring a couple of first-half goals from inside the six-yard box.

Divock Origi also netted during his 45 minutes on the pitch, showing great control to bring down a long ball before rounding the opposition goalkeeper and converting, while Bobby Duncan, Nathaniel Clyne and Curtis Jones also registered for the Reds.

It marked a positive return to action for Klopp's men, six weeks on from their famous Champions League triumph against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

The spine of the side that started at the Wanda Metropolitano are either approaching the end of their summer break, just starting it or, in the case of Senegal forward Sadio Mane, still yet to enjoy a rest following last season's exploits.

This match at Valley Parade will likely be used as another opportunity for the younger players in Liverpool's ranks to impress, then, while also giving the more experienced players - James Milner, Adam Lallana, Joel Matip - some further minutes.

Liverpool will then jet off to the United States for the serious part of pre-season, with games against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon pencilled in.

Recent form in pre-season: W

Team News

Klopp fielded two entirely different XIs at Prenton Park and that may also be the case at Valley Parade.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was a little rusty - understandable given his lack of action over the past 15 months - while Lallana is another who looks in need of some minutes.

Brewster will be desperate to build on his brace against Tranmere, meanwhile, and this should also be a good opportunity for Welsh duo Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn, who both assisted goals last time out, to show what they are capable of when given a chance.

As for Bradford, they took the decision to field 14 trialists in their second summer friendly at Brighouse. Bowyer was happy with the run out at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium, but is expected to revert back to a side of more familiar faces on Sunday.

Like Liverpool, City also fielded two different sides in their opening pre-season match so Bowyer will probably mix and match for this toughest test of the summer.

Clayton Donaldson scored against Guiseley and the summer signing will be out to breach the European champions' net this weekend.

Bradford City possible starting lineup:
O'Donnell; Henley, O'Connor, French, Riley; Colville, Akpan, Anderson; Donaldson, Doyle, Scannell

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Hoever, Matip, Gomez, Lewis; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Lallana; Wilson, Origi, Kent

Head To Head

The two sides have met 30 times in competitive matches, with Liverpool winning 21 of those and losing seven.

Their most recent competitive outing came in May 2001 when the Reds ran out 2-0 winners in a Premier League clash.

Michael Owen and Gary McAllister were on target that afternoon against an already-relegated Bradford.

We say: Bradford 0-4 Liverpool

Sunday's sold-out clash is for a good cause and it will give both managers a chance to run the rule over their players once again in the early stages of pre-season. If the Reds' comfortable victory over League One side Tranmere is anything to go by, this should be another one-sided affair.

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