FA Cup Replay Promises More Quality

Of all the quarter-final FA Cup ties, by far the least glamorous was Reading's trip to Bradford City.

Scheduled for a lunchtime kick-off and due to be played on the quagmire at City's Valley Parade ground, it was perhaps little wonder that the tie attracted minimal attention and was not selected for BBC broadcast.

As it turned out, both sides lacked quality and struggled to break each other down. The pitch was a real leveller and neither side created much in the way of genuine chances. The 0-0 scoreline gives a fair reflection of the game. The two sides meet again on 16th March and fans can anticipate a much more open contest.

Cup Pedigree
Bradford have recent history when it comes to knocking higher level opposition out of cup competitions. The Bantams have already disposed of Chelsea and Sunderland in this year's FA Cup, not to mention reaching the final of the Capital One Cup in 2013.

City played within themselves on Saturday and seemed nervous about letting their packed stadium of fans down. They have previously seemed to relish the underdog tag, but they froze when pundits and tipsters, like those at blue sq, started to talk about a potential return to Wembley.

Head over Heart
Having enjoyed watching Bradford's exploits in the cup this year, many would love to see them make the semi-finals. They are a great local club and a trip to face Arsenal in the semi-finals would seem fitting 30 years after the club suffered a tragic stadium fire.

Despite all of this, many think that Reading will hold all the cards when the two sides meet. Their pitch will allow for faster, better quality football -which will suit the home side. The superior fitness and ability of the Championship players should be enough to see them through.

Whatever happens, this replay promises to be a far better spectacle than the first encounter.