Leeds United host Bradford City this evening in the first round of the Carling Cup as both teams look to recover from defeats in their opening league game of the season.
Championship Leeds suffered a heavy defeat at Southampton, while League Two Bradford endured a disappointing loss at home to Aldershot.
The Yorkshire rivals have a chance to get back to winning ways this evening though with victory in the first round of the Carling Cup. Progression to the second round can get their season up and running ready for this weekend’s second set of fixtures.
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There is more to this game than just a place in the 2nd round though. Local pride is at stake as these two sides meet for the first time since September 2008. Leeds came out on top on this occasion and they are favourites to do so again.
However, Leeds boss Simon Grayson is likely to make wholesale changes to his line-up because of injuries and international call-ups.
The Championship club have ‘one or two injury problems’ following the game at Southampton on Saturday, while Robert Snodgrass, Max Gradel, Darren O’Dea and Aidy White are involved for their country.
There are then longer term injury issues for Luciano Becchio and Davide Somma, reducing Leeds’ firepower significantly.
As for Bradford, their manager Peter Jackson has described the match as a ‘huge occasion’ for all of his squad, even the more senior players.
The League Two club also have a couple of injury problems with Lee Bullock and Luke Oliver unlikely to feature. New signing Oscar Jansson – a goalkeeper that has joined on loan from Tottenham – is set to start at Elland Road.
Bradford will enjoy going into this game with little pressure on them. They are the underdogs and will look to take the game to an under strength Leeds side from the very first whistle.