Jim Gannon must decide how long to give fit-again Marc Richards as Port Vale host Bradford on Friday night.

Vale's skipper and influential striker returned from his six-week absence with a thigh injury to play the final 12 minutes of last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Northampton.

Richards had initially targeted the Bantams clash for his return, but his comeback one week ahead of schedule leaves Gannon with a decision to make as to how long he gets on Friday or if indeed he starts.

Another poser for the Vale boss is which formation to go with after switching from his favoured 4-2-3-1 system to 4-4-2 last weekend, something which failed to come off and led to him questioning whether Vale can play that way.

A change of system almost inevitably leads to a change in personnel and midfielder Anthony Griffith was the man to miss out last time, only to be introduced at the break and spark an upturn in fortunes.

Centre-back Gareth Owen remains out for around a month with his ankle damage. On-loan duo Kayleden Brown and Romaine Sawyers are due to return to West Brom after the game with their one-month deals at an end, unless an extension can be agreed.

Bradford, meanwhile, will be without James Hanson and David Syers for the clash.

Striker Hanson sustained a groin injury in last Saturday's home win over Wycombe, while midfielder Syers strained his hamstring .

Manager Peter Taylor is expected to recall Gareth Evans up front and on-loan Tom Adeyemi into midfield in place of Syers.

Taylor could also be tempted to start with either Steve Williams or Shane Duff alongside Luke Oliver in central defence in place of Lewis Hunt to combat the aerial threat of Vale strikers Tom Pope and Justin Richards.

Midfielders Tommy Doherty (ankle), Leon Osborne (hamstring) and Lee Bullock (hip) remain sidelined, but strikers Scott Dobie and Kevin Ellison are expected to keep their places in Taylor's starting line-up after both making their debuts for the Bantams last week.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Justin Richards
#Steve Williams
#Shane Duff
#Marc Richards
#James Hanson
#Romaine Sawyers
#Tommy Doherty
#Lewis Hunt
#Port Vale
#Lee Bullock
#Tom Adeyemi
#Tom Pope
#Luke Oliver
#Gareth Owen
#League Two
#Kayleden Brown
#Leon Osborne
#Anthony Griffith
#Kevin Ellison
#Scott Dobie
#Gareth Evans
Flag article