livescore logo

Carlisle vs Bradford predictions: Cumbrians can edge tight second leg
Copy icon

Tom McGarry

- Carlisle have not lost a home match against Bradford since 1985 
- The last five meetings between the two sides have seen under 2.5 goals scored 
- Recommended bet: Carlisle to win and under 2.5 goals

Carlisle and Bradford will meet in the second leg of their League Two play-off semi-final tie at Brunton Park on Saturday, with both teams still in the hunt to make it through to the final at Wembley.

The Bantams edged a tight first leg at the University of Bradford Stadium last Sunday, as a first-half goal from Jamie Walker helped them claim a 1-0 advantage they will be looking to defend in Cumbria.

However, Carlisle showed enough during that first leg to suggest this tie is far from over, and Paul Simpson's side will fancy their chances of gaining a positive result on home soil that, at the very least, will take the contest to extra time.

Bradford boss Mark Hughes is not expected to make too many changes
Bradford boss Mark Hughes is not expected to make too many changes

Team news

Carlisle will be boosted by the news midfielder Callum Guy is available after he was forced off with a knock during the first leg, while Crystal Palace loanee John-Kymani Gordon is back in the fold following his recent suspension.

However, versatile defender Jon Mellish will again miss out as he serves the final match of his ban, while Morgan Feeney and Fin Back also remain on the treatment table.

Bradford boss Mark Hughes is not expected to make too many changes to his starting XI, with 28-goal top scorer Andy Cook again set to lead the line against the club where he began his professional career.

Midfielder Harry Chapman and forward Vadaine Oliver remain the Bantams only confirmed absentees.

The stats

Carlisle have only lost one of their last seven home matches, although that was a 3-2 defeat to Salford in their most recent fixture at Brunton Park.

The Blues have also won their last three home meetings with Bradford, including a 1-0 success on Boxing Day when centre-back Paul Huntington scored the contest's only goal.

Bradford have lost two of their previous three matches on the road, at Swindon and Crewe, while their last victory at Carlisle came way back in 1985 when the two sides were playing in what is now the Championship.

Bantams forward Cook finished as the leading scorer in League Two during the regular season, netting 28 goals. The 32-year-old came through the youth system at Carlisle but never made a first-team appearance.


These two sides finished the regular season level on points, and during their three meetings so far this term, they have registered a win apiece and played out a goalless draw.

This all suggests that another tight encounter is on the cards on Saturday, but Carlisle will be encouraged by their impressive home record against Bradford and the way they responded to falling behind during last weekend's first legs.

Ryan Edmondson, Corey Whelan and 20-goal top scorer Kristian Dennis all spurned chances during that contest, and if Carlisle can rediscover their shooting boots back on home soil, they may be celebrating come the final whistle.

It is also worth noting that recent meetings between these two sides have lacked goals, with the last five encounters having yielded under 2.5, and given what is at stake on Saturday, it would be no surprise to see this match follow a similar pattern.

Back Carlisle to win and under 2.5 goals at 3/1 with LiveScore Bet.

Win big with LiveScore 6!

Fancy winning up to £100,000?

Simply predict six correct scores from the weekend action for your chance to win, with consolation prizes also on offer if you go close.

Play LiveScore 6 for free this weekend (18+, UK only). Click here for details on how to get involved.


League TwoCarlisleBradford
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News