We look ahead to the first league game of the new season
GILLINGHAM V BRADFORD
MEMS Priestfield Stadium, npower League Two
Saturday August 18
Martin Allen has no fresh injury or suspension concerns ahead of the first league game of the new season, although he will be without midfielder Jack Payne who is suffering with a bout of tonsillitis.
Joe Martin is available after tending to his new born baby and Deon Burton has received international clearance and should be part of the match squad.
Charlie Allen and Chris Whelpdale both went off with a touch of cramp against Bristol City on Tuesday but both should be fit to start if required.
New signings Myles Weston and Adam Barrett have both been registered in time to play after signing from Brentford and Bournemouth respectively.
As for Bradford they will be handing league debuts to a number of players including centre back Andrew Davies, Alan Connell and Gary Jones.
Ricky Ravenhill, the club’s new captain, may be missing for the game though as he continues to recover from injury.
Ritchie Jones could return to the side however after missing the club's 1-0 win over Notts County in the Capital One Cup last weekend.
Manager Phil Parkinson has a selection headache as to who play in goal with Matt Duke and Jon McLaughlin fighting for position.
With the first league game on the horizon for the new Gills Manager he is excited by the prospect of a new campaign, but warns that Bradford will provide a tougher mental challenge than Bristol City on Tuesday.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference he said:
“The league game is a completely different competition – Bradford are well organised, they have some good players and we need to be better than we were on Tuesday to get a win out of it.
“We went to be tight and hard to beat but on Saturday we need to go out and try to win the game which will require a different type of performance and mentality and hopefully it will be an exciting day out for all of our supporters.”
We’ve met before….
The last time the two sides met was on March 24 earlier this year when the teams shared the points in a 2-2 draw at the Coral Windows Stadium.
The Gills had gone two goals up before the hosts responded to snatch a point – the second goal met with outrage by visiting supporters who were appealing for what appeared to be a clear offside.
In total the sides have met 39 times – Gillingham have won 17 games, Bradford have won on 11 occasions and the remaining 11 games have resulted in a draw.
The Gills will play in their new home kit of red shirts, white shorts and blue socks.
Bradford will be wearing their away strip of gold and black shirts with black shorts and black socks.
Referee: Mick Russell
Assistants: Adam Crysell & Adam Davies
Fourth Official: Michael George