Tomorrow, Oldham travel to Bradford. Not the for the first time, either. This will be the 60th time Oldham have made the 30 mile journey over the top to their Yorkshire rivals. And it’s going to be the 114th clash between the two sides, going back to 1907.
This may not be a Rangers and Celtic type rivalry, but it must rank as one of the most common fixtures amongst teams that have gone up and down the leagues. Looking into it, of course all the big Premier League teams have played each other over 150 times, and Rochdale, Hartlepool and Darlington have played each other a lot. But these are clashes that have almost exclusively taken place either in the top or bottom division of the Football League – in a time when relegation out of the Football League didn’t happen.
So, it’s one of the most common fixtures in English football, once you qualify it enough…
Below, you can see the two clubs and their Elo rating history since 1900. The blue line is Oldham, the burgundy line Bradford, and the black vertical lines at the bottom represent each fixture that’s taken place. So the fixtures have taken place in patches, but with a significant gap in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and with particularly many games in the last few years.
It’s a fixture with Cup pedigree. In 1950 almost to the day the teams competed in the FA Cup First Round, and on the exact day in 1950, November 28, that the clubs meet tomorrow, a replay took place at Boundary Park that Oldham won 2-1. Since then, the FA Cup history has really favoured the Yorkshire team, as they prevailed 3-1 in the First Round in 1955, and won 5-2 at Boundary Park in 1962 (also in the First Round), and then in 1987 hit Oldham for five again in a Third Round Replay.
So tomorrow will be the seventh FA Cup match. Even if the Cup history is a little rough, the overall recent history strongly favours Oldham. Oldham have won five of the last six matches, going back to December 2017. The summary of tomorrow’s game is given below:
Oldham are higher in the table, with four more points, and two more wins. Oldham have a worse goal difference though, but have scored and conceded more than Bradford.
The tables above also show recent clashes between the teams, and the recent matches played by both teams.
The bottom table is the likelihood of different match outcomes. As always, a 1-1 draw is most likely, at 10.7%. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Bradford are slight favourites, but both our model and the bookmakers only put them in the region of 40-44% to win, with Oldham at 32-33% to win.