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Match Previews

Bradford City Preview

18 December 2015

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Chesterfield enter the Christmas programme hoping for an upturn in fortune and results as they host Bradford City on Saturday afternoon at the Proact.

After a long and ultimately disappointing FA Cup penalty shoot-out defeat at Walsall on Tuesday night, the Spireites will be looking to extend their mean streak in defence but add goals to their game to knock-out the Bantams.

Team News

A major absentee for the Spireites will be captain Sam Morsy, missing on Saturday and at Peterborough United on Boxing Day due to suspension after picking up his tenth booking of the season at Walsall.

Caretaker manager Mark Smith confirmed in his pre-match press conference that all of his players came through the two-hour marathon Cup tie at Waslall, including Ollie Banks who was substituted in extra time with cramp.

However, with a 90 minutes on a rain-soaked pitch at Bury followed by the 120 FA Cup game, Smith said that his side would cater their late-week to ensure that the squad are able to recover from their recent endeavours.

The Bantams make the trip to North Derbyshire without midfielder Josh Morris, out until after Christmas with a knee injury, though former Spireite Jordan Bowery will hope to feature after joining on loan from Rotherham United.

James Meredith returns to the squad, but faces a fight with Greg Leigh for the left-back spot, Leigh having been playing the position in Meredith's absence.

Form Guide

On the face of things, Bradford's recent run of just one loss in their last 12 matches makes for daunting reading, but perhaps as important could be the variances in the opposing sides' varying recent schedules.

While the Spireites have faced two taxing away days, Bradford have gone almost a fortnight since their last outing, easing to a 4-0 home win over Chesham United in the FA Cup.

Home hope may come, however, from the Bantams' last game, where they lost 2-1 at Banks's Stadium to Walsall, the side who Chesterfield kept goal-less for two hours on Tuesday night.

From the Dugout

Ahead of the game Smith commented that the disparity in the sides' fixture lists shouldn't act as too much of a factor in the game.

"Whether they had played two games or none at all they'll still play the same way, so it doesn't change much at all really," he explained. 

"If we get into the dying embers of the game on Saturday and are still in with a chance of winning it or we're trying to stay in it that could make things a bit tricky and we'll have to look at the energy levels left in some of our players.

"It's then that you try and use your squad players and it's important that they are ready and prepared to go, especially in this Christmas period when the games come thick and fast."

Smith also spoke about the hole in his side with Morsy out for the game, but said that it gives other players the chance to step up and stake a claim for a more regular place in the first team. 

"It is a loss because Sam is one of our better players and he's influential in what we try to do," he said. "We may need to tinker a little bit with the formation just to accommodate what we're going to do, without taking away from our aim to win the game.

"The games are coming quickly, Sam will be back before we know it for Coventry on the 28th, so it's up to us to get a couple of results and make it difficult for him to get back in when he comes back."

Spireites supporters can follow all the Proact action wherever they are in the world. There will be minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter, updates and exclusive photos on Facebook and Instagram - and of course full and live match commentary on Spireites PlayerHD.

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