We look ahead to Saturday's home league fixture
GILLINGHAM V BRADFORD CITY
SkyBET LEAGUE ONE
MEMS PRIESTFIELD STADIUM
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21
. Whelpdale missed training earlier in the week but has recovered in time to take his place in the squad. missing the 2-1 defeat against Coventry at SixfieldsChris Whelpdale (kidney) and Charlie Lee (suspension) are available for selection again this weekend after
Danny Hollands has also recovered from a bout of illness which forced him to miss training on Tuesday.
As for Bradford, Manager Phil Parkinson's only concern is the fitness of defender Carl McHugh, who is still suffering with the same groin injury that forced him out of last week's game against Colchester.
The visitors could also field striker Andy Gray for the first time this season.
The veteran forward has been recovering from a broken arm and was an unused substitute for the Bantams in their 2-2 draw with Colchester last Saturday.
Martin is hoping that the weekend will deliver the club’s first win of the season, and is confident ifrecent performances can be replicated then three points are well within their grasp.
“They are a good team and did very well last year with the promotion and their cup run. They have two good forward players but most importantly it’s about us this weekend, getting a good team performance and getting it going.
“I think they know we are moving in the right direction. The lads have been playing well, they need some breaks I think but if you keep playing well then they will come.”
here.To read more from Martin Allen, click
Phil Parkinson, who guided the club to League One after a 3-0 play-off final victory over Northampton in May, has steered his team in to the top half at this early stage, and is pleased with how well his players have coped in a new division.
He said: "You can sense that the level of quality from the teams we are playing against has obviously gone up from last season.
"I'm so pleased with the lads though. The level of spirit among them is just where it should be and that will stand us in good stead."
Bayo Akinfenwa, who played against Bradford for Northampton on no less than five occasions last season, said:
“We beat them just once last year so I hope we can go out there and beat them, they have started well and they have got that formula. Very effective, they went up last season and got to the Capital One Cup Final so they are no mugs.
“It will be a tough game but every game is a tough one – we have been working on things in training and we will get it right.”
The Bantams – the season so far
Bradford City are currently eighth in SkyBET League One and are unbeaten in their last four League outings. They began the campaign with a good away point after a 2-2 draw at Bristol City and hammered Carlisle United 4-0 at home, before suffering their only defeat of the season to date, a 2-1 loss to fellow promoted side Port Vale at Vale Park.
Bradford were promoted from League Two last season after a magnificent run which saw them win five of their last 10 league games, giving them the momentum to get past Burton Albion in the play-off semi-finals, before defeating Northampton in the final at Wembley Stadium.
Manager Phil Parkinson added four new faces to his promotion winning squad over the summer with the free transfer signings of Charlton Athletic centre-half Matt Taylor, midfielders Jason Kennedy from Rochdale and Raffaele De Vita from Swindon Town, and experienced Watford winger Mark Yeates.
Highly-rated young England youth keeper Connor Ripley has also joined on loan from Middlesbrough until January - he is the son of former Boro’ legend Stuart Ripley.
City, having reached last year’s final, were dumped out of the League Cup last month by Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium in a 2-1 defeat, and in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy they were also eliminated at the first hurdle.
Hartlepool inflicted the damage this time around, netting five without reply in a dominant display at Victoria Park.
The last time the two sides met was in February earlier this year in the return League Two fixture when Cody McDonald’s second half strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win at Valley Parade. Highlights of which can be seen here.
If you fancy Cody to be the first goal scorer on Saturday, then SkyBET are offering odds of 7/1.
The Gills also won the opening game of last season against the Bantams at Priestfield. Danny Kedwell (2) and debutant Myles Weston grabbing the goals in a convincing 3-1 victory (highlights here).
SkyBET are offering odds of 22/1 on the same score line, while Papa Johns are offering 50% off if Danny Kedwell was to score another brace against the Yorkshire side.
In total the two clubs have met on 41 occasions. The Gills have won 19 of these while Bradford have just 11 victories to their name.
The other 11 fixtures have resulted in a draw.
Bradford – Nahki Wells (8), James Hanson (3), Kyel Reid (1)
Gillingham – Cody McDonald (2), Bayo Akinfenwa (2), Danny Kedwell (2)
Gills: DDDLL (3 points)
Bradford: LWDWD (8 points)
Referee: Lee Collins
Assistants: Mathew Buonassisi and John Busby
Fourth Official: Nigel Lugg
Get all of the best odds on the game via SkyBET by clicking here