Lion-hearted Andrew Davies is tipped to win the Wembley power struggle with Northampton’s heavyweights.

City’s fearless centre half is expected to be a key figure in Saturday’s play-off final against a side who like to keep it physical.

The former Middlesbrough defender came out on top in both league encounters with the Cobblers as City did the double.

Davies outmuscled hefty hitman Adebayo Akinfenwa in the first meeting at Sixfields and then countered the barrage of long throw-ins that peppered the penalty area in last month’s return game.

So Phil Parkinson is confident he can emerge victorious once again in round three.

The 28-year-old defender was sorely missed in the semi-final first leg against Burton after his red card at Cheltenham.

But he announced his comeback three days later with a dominant display against Brewers top scorer Calvin Zola, crucially winning their personal battle as City turned the tables to clinch a second visit to Wembley.

Bantams boss Parkinson said: “By his own admission, Andrew let himself down at Cheltenham and probably owed us that performance.

“He played really well but we know he’s capable of that. We’ve seen him play like that many times already – and expect it again at Wembley if he’s selected.

“Davo’s as brave as a lion. He’ll put his head in where it hurts in both penalty boxes. The five stitches in his head last week summed him up because he doesn’t have any fear.

“He wants to win – and we’ve got a group of players who are all like that. Whether it’s just in training or an actual game, they want to win every time.”

City have sorted out the injury problem that had been plaguing their defensive talisman. Having missed four months with a damaged knee already, Davies had been troubled by a calf twinge that stemmed from his back.

Parkinson said: “We’ve got to the bottom of that. It took a while but we got there in the end.

“When you’ve got an injury like that and you’re not sure exactly what it is, it can cause a player to be concerned.

“But once we cleared it up with the injection, Andrew looked a lot happier. He’s absolutely fine now.”

City are back in training today after a long weekend off as the countdown begins to the promotion showdown.

Parkinson said: “It’s going to be a big, long build-up for it and we’ve got to keep calm.

“We want to play as well as we can and it’s our job to make sure we’re ready. We will be.”