Bradford City come to Vale Park this weekend on the back of an FA Cup defeat against Bury, in a game by all accounts they could and should have won.
The Bantams have built up a reputation for their cup exploits in the last couple of seasons, and most people would perhaps have put their money on the home side, especially when Bury had a man sent off on Tuesday evening.
But to paraphrase one former player and football pundit, it can be a funny old game, and Phil Parkinson’s men lost out during a penalty shoot-out.
One thing is for sure, the players’ heads won’t have dropped too much in the days that followed and the West Yorkshire side will make the trip to Vale Park believing they can take maximum points home with them from Burslem.
Vale’s record on home soil is the envy of most of the other teams in League One this season, but make no mistake about it, Bradford will make for tough opposition this weekend.
They currently sit one place above the Vale in the table, one point better off and with two games in hand, having won five times on their travels so far.
That will give them every incentive to rack up another three points, leaving Vale with a difficult task to close the gap in their own quest for a play-off place.
Vale will be keen to put last weekend’s defeat at The Den behind them and will be going flat out for the three points themselves.
Ryan Inniss came through ninety minutes of reserve team football on Wednesday afternoon, oddly enough against Bradford City reserves, and will be pushing for a start.
Whether or not Rob Page remains confident the current pairing I the heart of the Vale defence can continue to blossom together remains to be seen.
Michael Brown will face stiff competition from Anthony Grant for the defensive midfield berth, whilst the manager will be flirting with the idea of starting with two up top and several players will feel they can do a job up there.