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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Bradford City v Swansea City: Can the Bantams stun the Swans at Wembley?


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This wasn't the glamour final everyone was expecting but what a final it will be. League Two Bradford City have defied the odds to reach Wembley and will face Premier League Swansea City who are looking to win their first major piece of silverware and avoid being victims of another Capital One Cup giant-killing.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides in cup football and their first encounter since 2007 when the sides shared a 2-2 draw at Valley Parade. Swansea though are unbeaten in their past four games, although three of those have ended in draws.

Michael Laudrup has had a fairytale start to life as Swansea boss, taking the club to Wembley for a showpiece final for the first time in their history. He says it would mean more to him to win this cup as Swansea manager than when he won the European Cup with Barcelona. That's some statement and one that the Welsh fans will hope comes true.

This will be Swansea's first return to Wembley since their play-off success against Reading in 2011 when they steamrolled Reading in the first-half and hung on to victory in the second. They start the game as red-hot favourites, but that's not a tag that sits well with the players and fans.

Bradford City have seen off Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa in their march to the final but many pundits feel the players may be overawed by the vast Wembley pitch. But this is a moment to savour not to freeze. One to tell your grandkids about. The chance to shine and make your mark which will be remembered forever and be a hero.

This competition has thrown up a number of shocks this season but previous finals also give the Bantams hope. All they have to do is remember Birmingham City beating Arsenal, Sheffield Wednesday seeing off Man United in 1991 and Luton Town beating the Gunners in 1988 to see that anything can happen.

And if the game goes to penalties then Phil Parkinson's men will really fancy themselves as they have won their past nine penalty shoot-outs.

So who will win? Our pundits have their say.

Bradford City v Swansea City; Kick Off 4pm February 25 2013

Prediction Panel

Aston Villa

Frank Pattison

1

V

3

Everton

Chris Goodwin

0

V

3

Fulham

Neil Springate

1

V

3

Liverpool

Dave Disciascio

0

V

3

Man City

Callum Rothwell

1

V

3

Man United

Peter Jonstone

2*

V

2

Newcastle United    

Greg Hall

1    

V

2

Norwich

Sue Read

1

V

3

QPR

John Jaycock

0

V

2

Reading

Jon Keen

1

V

3

Stoke City

Peter Holland

2

V

1

Sunderland

Tony Ratton

1

V

2

Swansea

Jim Barry

0

V

1

West Brom

Andy Wakeman

2

V

0

West Ham

Matt Beeby

4

V

0

Wigan

Jimmy Shine

1

V

2

 

 

 

 

 

OUR EXPERTS

 

 

 

 

Writer

Colin Illingworth

2

V

4

Writer

Steve Coulter

2

V

1

Writer

Mitch Waddon

2

V

3

Writer

Chris Pettitt

1

V

3

Writer

Sarshar Hosseinnia    

1

V    

4

Blackburn fan

Terry Kennedy

1

V

2

Bolton fan

David Blackburn

1

V

3

Boro fan

Sue Gardener

1

V

4

Pompey fan

Dan Taylor

2

V

1

Pompey fan

Peter Rendle

0

V

2

West Ham fan

Nigel Telfer

2*

V

2

Wolves fan

Chris Cox

0

V

4

Editor

Antony Melvin

2

V

4

* Bradford win on penalty

Panel Verdict

Swansea City win.

Home: 7; Away: 22.

* Do we have it right or do you know better? We’d love to hear from you.

 

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