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.


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.