The Seasiders travel to Bristol City tonight looking for a fourth win in as many games and the chance to go third in the table.
Blackpool’s start to the season has been nothing short of remarkable, beating the likes of Newcastle United, Coventry City and Nottingham Forest, losing just once.
Bristol City have made a similar start to ‘Pool’s previous seasons in the Championship – hovering around the top half but ultimately drawing too many games in the first batch of fixtures.
And the game tonight will leave a good gauge as to how far Ian Holloway’s team have come in a short space of time. Before Ollie joined the club, previous regimes failed to beat City in the last five attempts, including three defeats (two at home).
We’ve only beaten the Robins once in the last ten at Ashton Gate (a 4-2 win in the promotion season), but there is renewed vigour at Bloomfield Road recently with an expansive brand of football which makes games wide open. I can’t see tonight being like some dour affairs we’ve recently witnessed between the two sides.
Alex John-Baptiste: ‘We have won the last three in the league and there is no reason why we can’t make it four,
‘We know that Bristol City are a quality side. They got to the play-offs the season before last and weren’t too far away last season.
‘But we don’t fear anyone away or at home so we are looking forward to it.’
Gary Johnson: If we can get a result it will not have been a bad start for us at all. If we don’t get a result then it will have been an average start.
‘It is the 10th league game and it is the one where we have a look at things to see how we are doing before pushing on for the next 10.’
Bristol City Team News:
Jamie McCombe is suspended after his red card against Derby on Saturday. The defender has since been fined a week’s wages by City for his petulance.
Cole Skuse is pushing for a recall in the middle of midfield whilst summer signing Dean Gerken won’t return after illness.
Player to watch: Nicky Maynard
The striker has six goals to his name already this season after a difficult first term at Ashton Gate.
He was signed for over a million pounds by Gary Johnson last summer but failed to live up to expectations.
This year he is proving to be a real asset though and whoever plays at the back for ‘Pool tonight may have their hands full.
Blackpool Team News:
‘Pool are in all sorts of trouble in defence. Ian Evatt is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, whilst Rob Edwards and Neal Eardley both have dead legs from Saturday’s win against Peterborough.
The loan signing of Marcel Seip this morning from Plymouth has eased worries slightly but if neither Eardley or Edwards come through fitness tests it’s looking as if youngster Ashley Eastham will play.
Whether or not Holloway decides to change the midfield could be interesting, with Brett Ormerod looking tired on Saturday.
GTF, Demontagnac, McPhee and Nardiello are all still out.
Player to watch: Paul Rachubka
Rabs could have a completely different defence in front of him tonight so he’ll have to keep up his good communication work.
His kicking has seen an immense improvement so far this campaign, as has his overall game, so let’s see if he can continue.
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Saturday 3rd October,
Crystal Palace (A)