They’ve won just once since September (against a poor Sheffield Wednesday side) and are up against a Blackpool team who are unstoppable at home so far this campaign: should we give PKE a prayer tomorrow night?
Of course I wouldn’t be so stupid as to say tomorrow will be anything but a hard battle – all derbies are.
But The Seasiders haven’t gone into a game with Preston such overwhelming favourites for a long time and there are no signs that the visitors will break Ian Holloway’s unbeaten record at home as gaffer.
Since September when they were in the playoffs, Alan Irvine’s team have sunk into the bottom half. There is a word of warning – they’re only three points behind us.
However, their inability to score goals recently – coupled with Blackpool’s free scoring attitude at home – will make it very tricky for them.
And having not sold out their allocation of 1800, the PKE players won’t have the full backing of their supporters, with the game live on Sky.
The home ends are a complete sell out.
Ian Holloway on the derby:
‘You can’t hide people’s emotions. It is a wonderful game and a wonderful way of spending your recreation time – supporting a team and being part of a gang.
‘But at the end of the day there are three points at stake.
‘Hopefully we’ll win because we play better than them.
Blackpool Team News:
Ben Burgess is likely to lead the line which means the key selection decisions will come in midfield.
Has Jason Euell done enough recently to warrant being played wide, or do Billy Clarke and Hameur Bouazza provide more of an attacking threat?
At the back, it’s not sure whether Neal Eardley will be preferred with the game being at home and thus more attacking. If he comes in it’ll be between Seip and Evatt for the second centre half spot alongside Baptiste.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
Just the sort of game Charlie will thrive on. If he keeps his emotions at the boil he could find himself in hot water but a sensible display might see him being the Blackpool matchwinner once again.
PKE Team News:
Michael Tonge and Richard Chaplow are likely to be preferred to Darren Carter in the middle of the park – where the game could be won and lost.
Up front it’s between Chris Brown, Neil Mellor and Jon Parkin as to who leads the line together.
Youl Mawene misses out through an injury picked up against Newcastle last week, unfortunately.
Player to watch: Billy Jones
Strange that a right back should be the player to watch but if Jones keeps Bouazza quiet PKE can build from there.
However, with Boozer likely to play on the left it means Jones’ attacking threat could be diminished. It’ll be interesting to see how he copes.
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Vs Barnsley at home.