Goals in Short Supply
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2pts under 2.5 goals in Bradford v Northampton at 20/21 (Stan James, BetVictor).
League Cup heroes Bradford are in FA Cup replay action on Tuesday night and a low-scoring affair and under 2.5 goals looks the way to go.
Phil Parkinson's League Two promotion-hopefuls reached the Capital One Cup quarter-finals after holding Wigan to goalless draw two weeks ago and their new-found defensive solidity will make it tough going for Northampton at Valley Parade.
The Bantams, who have won five of their eight home league games, have conceded just two goals in the last six in all competitions and with just five goals conceded in eight league games at home they are proving a tough nut to crack.
Both first-choice central defenders, Luke Oliver and Andrew Davies, have been sidelined through injury, but Rory McArdle has played well of late. He's likely to play alongside Carl McHugh.
And if they can keep Cobblers strikers Adebayo Akinfewa and Clive Platt quiet then it's hard to see where the visitors goal threat will come from.
Northampton have scored 12 goals away from home, but with dangerman Alex Nicholls missing after breaking his leg last month, the hosts should be capable of keeping Northampton at arm's length.
Whether Aidy Boothroyd's men can keep Bradford at bay will be the key factor if the 'unders' is is to be landed. However, their cause might well be helped by Parkinson as he shuffles his pack once again.
The Bantams, who have seen three of their last four home games finish under 2.5 goals, are in the middle of a hectic schedule after their cup heroics and a replay after the 1-1 draw in the orginial fixture at Sixfields was hardly the result the Yorkshiremen wanted. With that in mind and with Parkinson firmly focused on the league, he will most likely make changes to the side that won 2-0 at Aldershot on Saturday.
James Hanson, the focal point of their attacking play, only returned to action at the weekend after a virus and he could well get the night off along with two-goal hero Nakhi Wells.
The hosts do have alternatives in the form of Garry Thompson and Alan Connell, but Bradford's rhythm will surely be hindered - just as it was in the last home game when Chesterfield dug in for a goalless draw - with Bradford missing the influential Hanson.
The bookmakers have the over 2.5 goals option odds-on, but with Northampton more likely to 'park the bus' rather than attack gung-ho, the Cobblers are capable of making it a scrappy affair and it's worth taking the bookies on and siding with 'unders' at 20/21.