Bradford City will welcome Middlesbrough to the University of Bradford Stadium on Tuesday evening for their third-round clash in the EFL Cup. This marks the first competitive encounter between the two teams since 2001, when they shared a 1-1 draw during their time in the Premier League.
Bradford City’s League Two season has been steady, amassing 13 points in nine games, leaving them 11th in the league, just two points away from the playoff zone. They’re on a six-game unbeaten streak, but three of those ended in draws, including a 1-1 tie against Harrogate Town at home. Notably, Bradford tends to perform better away, with wins against Accrington Stanley and Wrexham in the first two EFL Cup rounds. They impressed in their recent away game, defeating Newport County 4-1 after securing a 3-0 lead in the first half-hour. However, Tuesday night presents a more challenging task. In summary, Bradford City has shown promise but seeks consistency as they face Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup, with a history of stronger away performances this season.
Middlesbrough, a Championship team, are expected to be a tough opponent for Bradford City, who play two divisions lower. However, Middlesbrough has struggled this season, currently sitting in the Championship’s relegation zone, 22nd with just five points from eight matches. They’ve had defensive issues, notably losing 3-0 to Coventry City and 4-2 to West Bromwich Albion in away games, with only one point from four away fixtures. Despite their league struggles, Middlesbrough progressed to this EFL Cup stage by defeating Bolton Wanderers 3-1 away. In their recent match, they secured a 2-1 home win against Southampton, bringing some relief and renewed confidence, thanks to goals from Riley McGree and Jonny Howson. While Middlesbrough has underperformed in the Championship, they remain a formidable challenge for Bradford City in the EFL Cup.
The EFL Cup 2023 match between Bradford City and Middlesbrough will take place at Northern Commercials Stadium on Wednesday at 12:15 am IST.