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Bradford City Preview

Colchester United will travel to the Utilita Energy Stadium for the first game in the league season

11 September 2020

Colchester United head north to Bradford City in search of their first three points of the season as SkyBet League Two gets underway this weekend.

The U's will line up for a regular league fixture for the first time in 190 days as they take on Bradford City on their travels.

United have had a tough start to the 2020/21 season with two cup fixtures against teams in higher leagues, losing out 3-1 and 2-0 to Reading and Portsmouth respectively. 

But the U's will be keen to take the positives from those games as they head into the opening fixture of the 2020/21 league season. 

Stuart McCall takes charge of the Bantams in his fourth stint as head coach. Gary Bowyer was in the role until February, but was relieved of his duties as City slumped out of the play-offs last season. As the season was brought to an early halt, McCall's side were ninth in the table, four points behind Northampton who occupied the final play off spot. 

So far this season, Bradford have had a win and a draw from their first two matches. 

In their season opener, they defeated Bolton Wanderers in the first round of the Carabao Cup 2-1, thanks to goals from Lee Novak and Harry Pritchard. 

Most recently, the Bantams played out a goalless draw against League One side, Doncaster Rovers in the EFL trophy before missing out on the extra point on penalties. 

Following this stalemate, McCall said of his side:

"It was a really encouraging performance.

"I knew we would have to be at it tonight defensively and everybody would need to work hard. Thankfully, the lads did that.

"I am probably more pleased by the performance against Doncaster than I was on Saturday against Bolton."

There may be a familiar face lining up against the U's on Saturday afternoon in the form of Kurtis Guthrie. The ex-U's front man started in the Bantams' first game of the season, and was a second half substitute on Tuesday night. 

Another familiar face who could play against United is Billy Clarke. The former U's loanee returned to Valley Parade for a third spell in the summer after being released by Grimsby Town. 

Steve Ball will take charge of his first league game since being appointed permanent head coach, and is excited for the season to come: 

"It's been a really tough start, we always knew that. We have another tough one again on Saturday with Bradford City and then Bolton after that, but we have to enjoy it - that's why we are here."

"We have played at two brilliant stadiums (Reading and Portsmouth), and we have to take positives out of it. Of course we want to get better results, but it's been a really tough start. The players can't wait for Saturday when we will go to another big stadium."

"Bradford will be one of the favourites to get out of the league this season. What a chance to go and get a win"

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