SL Preview: Bradford v Castleford

Castleford will hand a debut to loan signing Gareth O’Brien in Saturday’s televised clash at Bradford.

O’Brien has joined the Tigers for a month after Rangi Chase was handed a two-match ban for a tackle on Zak Hardaker during last weekend’s win over Leeds.

They are also set to welcome back Kirk Dixon, who has been missing with a calf injury.

The SKY TV cameras go to Odsal for the first time for a live game since Omar Khan’s successful takeover of the club.

Bradford won their opening game of the season against Wakefield, but were downed last week by Hull.

They are likely to keep the same team that played at the KC Stadium, as long as Michael Platt passes a late fitness test on a knee injury.

Bradford 19-man squad: Donaldson, Sidlow, Platt, Manuokafoa, Langley, Diskin, Kearney, Scruton, L’Estrange, Blythe, Lulia, Whitehead, Kear, Sammut, Addy, Olbison, C Walker, Murphy, Foster.

Castleford 19-man squad: Owen, Carney, Shenton, Webster, Dixon, Ellis, Walker, Clark, Huby, Gilmour, Hauraki, Millington, Emmitt, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, O’Brien.

Prediction: Could go either way, but fancy Castleford to follow up from last week with another win – away win.

Stats:

Bradford’s Brett Kearney has scored tries in the Bulls’ last three meetings with Castleford (2-1-2).

Chev Walker needs two tries to reach a career century of Rugby League touchdowns.

Walker has scored 92 club tries – made up of 86 for Leeds (1999-2006), 5 for Hull Kingston Rovers (2008-2009) and 1 for current club Bradford in 2011.

He also has 6 representative tries, having scored 1 for Great Britain (2005), 2 for England (2000), 1 for England ‘A’ (2002) and 2 for England Under 21s (2001).

Last ten meetings:

Bradford 46, Castleford 32 (SLR16, 4/6/12)
Castleford 12, Bradford 20 (SLR2, 12/2/12)
Castleford 34, Bradford 30 (SLR21, 10/7/11)
Bradford 18, Castleford 14 (SLR6, 20/3/11)
Castleford 28, Bradford 22 (SLR19, 27/6/10)
Bradford 41, Castleford 22 (SLR3, 19/2/10)
Bradford 38, Castleford 40 (SLR18, 5/7/09)
Castleford 28, Bradford 26 (SLR6, 29/3/09)
Castleford 16, Bradford 18 (SLR27, 6/9/08)
Castleford 24, Bradford 46 (SLR14, 18/5/08)

Super League summary:

Bradford won 26
Castleford won 7
2 draws
Bradford highest score: 60-12 (A, 2004) (also widest margin)
Castleford highest score: 44-14 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)

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