Thank God the international break is over! I didn’t even bother watching either of England’s games (did see Ireland in Armenia – what a erm… thriller!) but now we’re back to the ‘real’ stuff, as the Seasiders travel to Newcastle United.
It’s just months after the 4-1 mauling Blackpool received from Chris Hughton’s team, but with a dozen new signings and an encouraging start to the season, things might well be different this time around.
All internationals came back with a clean bill of health which gives Ian Holloway plenty of options, with upwards of 40,000 expected inside St James’ tomorrow.
United’s James Perch in buoyant mood ahead of the game. The last time he faced ‘Pool, Nottingham Forest were battered in the playoffs: ‘Come Blackpool we will be raring to go.
‘We have had the chance to reflect on the positives and rest and the gaffer gave us two days off. We are ready for them.’
Ian Holloway has been laying out his survival plan for the season: ‘We have just given the players a two-month schedule. My staff have produced it. They will know what day they are off and what day they are in. They know it will be morning and afternoon.
‘The defenders will be doing certain things as will the midfielders and forwards. This is the most comprehensive document that I have ever produced in my career and I am looking forward to implementing it.
‘We want to leave a mark on this world so that people remember how well our team played and how well the supporters behaved.
‘The secret of this club is that the fans are embracing what we are trying to do. They are in their element. It is quite unbelievable. We want this great feeling to continue.’
Newcastle United Team News:
Andy Carroll is facing a fight to be fit but at least one of the new signings is set to start, with Sol Campbell, Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheik Tiote vying for a place in the starting eleven.
The two Dan’s, Guthrie and Gosling, are both out, as well as Steven Taylor and Leon Best.
Striker Xisco is suspended.
Player to watch: Kevin Nolan
The midfielder totally ran the show at St. James’ Park last time out and it’ll be interesting to see who Ollie goes with to counter his attacking threat. It’s highly unlikely that Keith Southern will start, which could see Ludovic Sylvestre or Chris Basham pitted against Nolan.
Blackpool Team News:
A fair bit of team news! Marlon Harewood is fit after his hamstring tear and should take a place on the bench.
At the back, it remains to be seen who will play in the absence of Alex Baptiste; it should be Neal Eardley but again, Basham could be used as a more sterdy replacement.
Evatt and Cathcart will play in the middle with Stephen Crainey probably given another chance at left back, with new signing David Carney waiting in the wings.
As alluded to above, Keith Southern should make the bench.
Player to watch: Elliot Grandin
Grandin has been the find of the summer so far after signing for an undisclosed fee from CSKA Sofia.
Against Fulham he looked fantastic but his game could come into question when playing away from Bloomfield Road. If he adapts the way he plays and gets to the grip with playing away in the Premiership, Grandin will prove very useful on the break.
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Sunday 19th September