BRADFORD defeated Wigan, Aston Villa and Arsenal on the way to Wembley in 2013 and big scalps this season en route to the FA Cup last eight have been Sunderland and Chelsea.
Fighting back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Stamford Bridge was incredible and they used their poor pitch to great effect to KO Sunderland.
Reading haven’t been in the FA Cup semis since 1927 and have never beaten Bradford in cup competition. Their run to the last eight has been easier, taking out Championship rivals Derby, Cardiff and Huddersfield all away from home.
However, their form under Steve Clarke is poor with just two wins in eight matches. Sunderland boss Gus Poyet described the Valley Parade surface as “one of the worst in the country” and much will depend on how Reading adapt.
Bradford are rightly bookies’ favourites and I’ll go along with that and back them at 13-8 with William Hill.
Striker James Hanson will test the Royals with his aerial ability and is 13-2 at McBookie to score first. Jon Stead is joint-top scorer in the competition with five and is 23-20 at BetBright to net at any time.
Reading have netted just twice in six Championship matches and while veteran Yakubu bagged the winner at Derby he’s likely to start on the bench.
Today’s other tie sees Aston Villa take on West Brom in a repeat of the Premier League match they won 2-1 in midweek.
Villa were the better side but needed an injury-time penalty to take the points. They are 15-8 at William Hill.
(13-8, William Hill)