Bradford vs. Swansea: Capital One Cup Final Preview, Team News

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Bradford vs. Swansea: Capital One Cup Final Preview, Team News
Warren Little/Getty Images

Bradford City take on Swansea City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday, February 24.

The League Two minnows have enjoyed a fairytale route to Wembley. Victories against Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa have seen the West Yorkshire side take on the mantle of Premier League giant-killers in a run that has shot players such as Nakhi Wells into the limelight (via Sky Sports).

Swansea's journey to the final should also be applauded. Michael Laudrup's men overcame the threat of Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Chelsea in a difficult set of matches. Despire Bradford's heroics, the Welsh side go into Sunday's match as real favourites.

 

Bradford City Team News

Phil Parkinson's squad travel to London in good health.

Defender Rory McArdle will need to prove his fitness ahead of the match. The 25-year-old Englishman will do all he can to overcome a niggling ankle injury, especially as he possesses personal links to the tragic Valley Parade fire of 1985 (via Telegraph & Argus).

Andy Gray will once again be cup-tied after making an appearance in this year's competition for Leeds United. This is nothing new for Parkinson, who used Gray's ineligibility to rest key players in the recent 2-1 loss to Wimbledon (via BBC Sport).

The likes of Wells, James Hanson, Zavon Hines and Carl McHugh were benched in the league defeat and should be reinstated to Bradford's first team lineup.

Projected Starting XI: Duke; Darby, Nelson, McArdle, McHugh; Hines, G Jones, Doyle, Reid; Wells, Hanson.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

 

Swansea City Team News 

Michael Laudrup's decision to rest Swansea's influential players has been widely documented across the past week. The 5-0 away loss to Liverpool signalled just how badly the Danish manager wants to land Swansea's first League Cup title.

Spanish defender Chico Flores is ruled out with ruptured ankle ligaments (via The Daily Mail). Club captain Gary Monk is hoping to start in a team that has risen from the fourth tier of English football since he joined nine years ago (via BBC Sport).

Neil Taylor continues his spell on the sidlelines with a fractured ankle (via BBC Sport). This will allow Ben Davies to keep his place in the side after racking up 31 appearances this season.

Laudrup also has a decision to make between his goalkeepers. Gerhard Tremmel played every League Cup tie in the absence of Michel Vorm, but now the Dutchman has returned from injury and could force his way back into the starting lineup.   

Tremmel has just signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal with the club and is most likely to don the number one shirt (via Goal.com).

Players including Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer, Michu and Wayne Routledge were rested against Liverpool. All will make an appearance in the cup final.

Who will win the 2013 Capital One Cup final?

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Projected Starting XI: Tremmel; Rangel, Monk, Williams, Davies; Dyer, Hernandez, Ki, De Guzman, Routledge; Michu.

 

The Capital One Cup final should provide a fitting climax to an enthralling competition. This year we've been treated to shocks, ridiculous scorelines and enough drama to satisfy the most demanding football fans.

I expect Swansea to take the prize in a hard-fought encounter—can Bradford jump the final Premier League hurdle without falling?

Who do you think will win the Capital One Cup? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter:

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