With their third game in 7 days – and their second away game in 4 days – Blackpool travel to Oakwell to take on Barnsley in a game which, like the Norwich tie last Saturday, is a vital game for both sides involved.
‘Pool are coming off the back of a credible 2-2 draw away at Playoff and Promotion-chasing Sheffield United on Tuesday night, while Barnsley almost caused their own upset against the out-of-sorts Birmingham City on the same evening, that game finishing 1-1.
Simon Davey’s side are currently in 21st place in the league, 1 point off the drop, but have 3 key games in hand on the teams around them, including the Seasiders. Following the draw on Tuesday evening, Blackpool are 4 points off the drop and so there is certainly everything to play for heading into tomorrow afternoon’s fixture.
It should be an entertaining game, with both sides looking to go all-out for the vital 3 points.
‘Pool Caretaker boss, Tony Parkes;
‘We’re confident – we always have been – that we can stay in this league. We’ve got teams around us who we fancy our chances against.’
‘What we’ve got from our last two games we’ve deserved. We’ve been as good as the opposition and we’ve been better than the opposition – and that’s encouraging. We’ve just got to keep it going.’
Reds Gaffer, Simon Davey;
‘Blackpool have impressed me again this season. They are similar to ourselves in that people would have expected them to be go down but they have competed and have picked up some great results. That have a fantastic work ethic and are a difficult team to play against. It will not be easy.’
‘We have games in hand on them and will go above them with a win on Saturday. We have to capitalise on home advantage and make sure we get all three points’.
Barnsley Team News:
Adam Hammill is set to line-up against the side he started the season on-loan with.
Anderson De Silva will miss out while Andranik Teymourian and defender Stephen Foster are both suspended for the game.
Diego Leon is also a doubt as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
Player to watch: Adam Hamill
The winger on loan to the Tykes from Liverpool turned down the opportunity to re-join the Seasiders on loan in the January transfer window and has instead lent his hand to try and steer the Tykes away from relegation in Yorkshire.
On his day, he can be a tricky player to play against, but if he has an off-day or Danny Coid or Stephen Crainey are on the ball – like they usually are – then he may have a tough job in breaking down the ‘Pool defence on either wing.
Blackpool Team News:
Roy O’Donovan will be absent with an appendix problem and will likely miss most, if not all, of the remainder of the season.
Graeme Owens will step into the starting line-up on the left of midfield as David Vaughan has a groin strain that may rule him out of the game, and new loan signing Wade Small should take up a spot on the bench.
Brett Ormerod has recovered from the virus that kept him out of the side on Tuesday night, but Blackman should continue up front with DJ Campbell.
Captain Rob Edwards’ ankle trouble could have cleared enough come kick-off for him to take a place on the bench, unless Parkes opts to change a winning formula at the back!
Player to watch: Nick Blackman
The young forward opened his account for the Tangerines on Tuesday night against Sheffield United and he’ll be looking to forge a valuable partnership with DJ Campbell up-front and fire ‘Pool to safety in the time he’s at the club.
Match Facts & Stats
Those of you thinking of a bet Blackpool’s way will be interested to know that the last time Blackpool came out victors in the league at Oakwell was 1935.
Time to buck the trend?
Last time in the league, Blackpool ran out the victors 1-0 at Bloomfield Road. Last season, both games played at Oakwell (FA Cup 3rd Round and in the league) had the same outcome – the home side took the spoils with 2-1 victories on both occasions.
Barnsley 1-2 Blackpool
vs Southampton (H), March 21st, 3pm.