Our Boxing Day fixture takes us over to Yorkshire to face Bradford City AFC in Sky Bet League Two.
Morecambe will look to continue their strong December away form with a trip to University of Bradford Stadium to face Bradford City on Tuesday 26 December.
It will be a second trip to Yorkshire in as many away trips for Ged Brannan’s men, the last involving a memorable 5-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers. Since that fixture, the Shrimps hosted MK Dons at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium on Saturday 23 December. Despite a second half equaliser from JJ McKiernan, the hosts were unable to hold on and succumbed to a 3-1 defeat following a Joe Tomlinson strike and a brace from young forward Max Dean.
Bradford City made the trip to Doncaster on Friday 22 December, in their last fixture before Christmas. This fixture also finished 3-1 to the visitors, with goals from Andy Cook and Tyler Smith securing the three points for the Bantams.
Morecambe last faced Bradford City at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium earlier this season, where a Michael Mellon brace and a goal from JJ McKiernan earned a 3-0 victory for the Shrimps in a dominating performance.
One point separates the two sides, with the Bantams sitting in 10th position in the Sky Bet League Two table following nine wins, five draws and eight losses. Their fortunes have turned since Graham Alexander took charge at the University of Bradford Stadium, with six wins in their last six in all competitions.
Alexander took the helm at the start of November, after a shaky start to their campaign resulted in the departure of Mark Hughes. The 52-year-old had an extensive playing career involved no less than 1,000 appearances in professional football and has since taken charge of over 400 games as a manager.
Experienced centre-forward Andy Cook has proven to be an attacking threat for the Bantams, scoring 12 goals in all competitions so far this season.
He has found success in attack alongside striker Tyler Smith, who has bagged 10 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions.
The Man in the Middle
Referee Darren Drysdale will take charge at Valley Parade on Tuesday afternoon, officiating his 17th fixture of the season. In his previous 16 games, Drysdale has dished out 58 yellow cards, with a further two red cards. He last oversaw a Shrimps’ fixture in the 2022/23 season, when Morecambe travelled to Harrogate in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
Bradley Hall and Stephen Wade will run the line at the University of Bradford Stadium, with fourth official Wayne Grunnill completing the officiating team.
Ged Brannan’s Pre-Match Thoughts
Morecambe manager Ged Brannan spoke on the challenge ahead.
“It’s a cracker over Christmas, there will be a massive crowd,” he said. “Obviously they will be right up for it, but we will as well.”
“We’re going to try and put things right.”
“We’re a team that can pass it around the pitch and create chances. Hopefully like the Doncaster game we will go there and create as many chances as that, and we’ll be fine.”
Stu Moore and Donald Love remain sidelined with their respective injuries.
Supporters not making the journey to the University of Bradford Stadium on Tuesday afternoon can watch from home with an iFollow Shrimps video match pass.
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