Supporters can expect to see a full-strength team fielded by head coach Paul Crarey tonight, as Barrow Raiders play their first-ever 1895 Cup tie against what is likely to be a much-changed Bradford Bulls.

While the visitors are coming into the game off a three-day turnaround, the Raiders will be going into it feeling refreshed in comparison, having had a free weekend.

Victory at Craven Park would put Barrow potentially two games away from a trip to Wembley and the club are using that a big incentive to take the new competition for Championship and League One sides seriously.

They’ll also be keen to keep up the momentum gained from their 54-10 hammering of Rochdale in their last outing, especially with a crucial away game at Widnes Vikings on Sunday.

Crarey said: “Obviously, Lewis [Charnock] is missing for us now and we’ll make one or two changes, but not too many, and we’ll freshen up a bit.

“We’ve got two games this week – on Wednesday and Sunday – so that’s a big ask for the players, but we’re going to put a strong side out because we owe it to the club and to the fans to do that.

“They pay the money, so we’re going to put a real strong side out. I don’t know what side Bradford is putting out yet, but if they leave a few first-teamers out it’s about your squad.

“We’ve missed 11 first-teamers at some stages of the season and we’ve had to play the squad members and paid the price for that.

“They had a hard game on Sunday [against Halifax] and it all depends what John Kear wants to do, whether he wants to bring a full squad or put some of his fringe players in, it will still be a tough test.”

It would certainly be understandable if Bradford did decide to make wholesale changes against the Raiders, with the game being in the middle of a gruelling eight-day period for them in which they’re having to play three times.

The Bulls put in a big effort last Sunday for their Challenge Cup quarter final against fellow Betfred Championship side Halifax, which proved to be a great showcase for second-tier rugby league.

However, the day turned out to be a fruitless one for them as they were defeated 20-16 at Odsal in a match where Fax came from behind twice and Crarey understands if Kear wants to prioritise their league clash with Batley at the weekend.

He said: “We have a similar thing at Easter, where we play on the Friday and then the Monday, and it’s very difficult.

“Maybe if they were at home it might have been different, but I’ve got to look after the Barrow fans at my end.

“They pay good money to get in, so I’m going to put out the strongest side possible.

“I can understand where John is coming from and maybe this cup competition shouldn’t have been put on Wednesday nights.

“They’ve done really well against Leeds in the Challenge Cup, although they obviously got beat against Halifax, but Steve [Neale] has stated from day one that he wants to try and take the Barrow public to Wembley.

“Whatever side Bradford send, it’ll be a good strong side – [Brandon] Pickersgill is going to be back in and I think he’s a quality full back. There are going to be some good players on their team sheet, so we’re not going to underestimate them.”