Tonight will be a true test of Ian Holloway’s Blackpool. After an unfortunate 3-2 defeat at West Brom on Saturday, the Seasiders travel to Sheffield United – who are hot on their heels.
Whether ‘Pool can handle two massive games in the space of three days remains to be seen, but it’s looking like they need at least a point, judging by who’s playing who in and around them.
Coventry host Cardiff, Middlesbrough travel to Derby and Doncaster play Peterborough at London Road.
So, ‘Pool could be anywhere between and 11th my the end of this evening.
Ian Holloway on the playoffs: ‘The teams above us have got games in hand and realistically I think there is still that one place left as I think the other ones are almost nailed down,’ said Holloway.
‘Cardiff are clinging onto it but any team that comes with a late run will have a good chance of getting into the top six.
‘Can we do that? Not if we let three goals in every week. But we do look like we can score – so that is positive – and we will be having a go for it and trying to enjoy ourselves.
‘A few people would have been rubbing their hands at our result on Saturday but we will keep fighting to the end.’
United coach Gary Speed defends his under-fire boss Kevin Blackwell: ‘I think some of the stick he has received has been undeserved because of the trouble we have had this season in terms of personnel and players coming in and out.
‘I am learning a lot from him personally. It is a good experience for me to be in with the gaffer.
‘He is coping with it (the pressure) really well. He has been through this before at Leeds and Luton so he can handle this better than most.’
Sheffield United Team News:
Chris Morgan is missing for the Blades through suspension, whilst Toni Kallio has been sidelined for up to six weeks with a calf problem.
Kyle Bartley is out with food poisoning.
Player to watch: Darius Henderson
Top scorer Darius Henderson is a big powerful centre forward who will cause the tallest defences problems.
Unfortunately for ‘Pool, their backline is looking fairly small and Henderson could have a field day.
Blackpool Team News:
Stephen Crainey looks set to miss out once again, which means Joe Martin will keep his place.
The back two pairing of Baptiste and Edwards looks set to continue with the absence of Ian Evatt.
Billy Clarke could be in line for his first start in months after Stephen Dobbie’s ineffectual display on Saturday.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
After scoring and also being at fault for a goal on Saturday, Adam will be wanting to stabalise his performances.
The midfielder was unlucky not to be announced in the top three Championship players by 442 – that opinion is nationwide – and will want to showcase his talent.
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Saturday March 20
Crystal Palace (H)