Express & Star

Walsall hope to buck trend on their trip to Valley Parade

Valley Parade has not been a happy hunting ground for Walsall in recent years.

Tom Knowles in action during last season's fixture

In fact, the Saddlers have not emerged victorious at Bradford for more than nine years – a run stretching eight matches.

And the Bantams head into tomorrow’s encounter with a spring in their step after crushing Newport County 4-1 at Rodney Parade last time out.

Andy Cook marked his return from a month-long absence by scoring his first hat-trick in over two years.

The former Walsall forward won the golden boot in League Two last term with a formidable total of 28 goals.

His treble at Newport were his first goals of the new campaign, although the Bradford marksman will be hoping that he can now assemble a strong run of scoring form. Cook scored 18 in all competitions during his solitary campaign at Walsall in 2018-19, which resulted in relegation to League Two.

Bradford are unbeaten in five (two wins, three draws) and trail the play-off positions by just two points.

They suffered a first home defeat since February in midweek against Middlesbrough (2-0 in the EFL Cup) but remain unbeaten at Valley Parade in 12 games in the league (six wins, six draws). Besides Cook, Bradford boast a wealth of attacking options. Alex Pattison has three goals from midfield, Jamie Walker has netted twice, and Albion loanee Rayhaan Tulloch got off the mark in his first start in a City shirt at Newport.

Pattison marked his return from injury as a second-half substitute against Middlesbrough, although Lewis Richards suffered a groin strain in training.