The last time Blackpool travelled to Southampton for a league game a certain Ben Burgess netted the winner for a team including Steve Kabba and, well, Ben Burgess!
That was in front of the Sky cameras and the Adam Hammill club was in full flow. It was also the season Simon Grayson left Pool in the lurch at Christmas time. He, along with six loanees, moved on.
While Ian Holloway isn’t going anywhere, he will be without Callum McManaman at the start of the year after Wigan have said they want him to play in their FA Cup campaign, however long that may be.
So lucky for the Seasiders that they play the table-toppers away with their man of the moment still at the club.
Macca notched the winner against Reading last week and is just starting to hit his straps properly.
Nigel Adkins’ promoted Saints are 12 points ahead of Blackpool and haven’t lost at home all season. However, there are signs of hope for the visitors.
Saints simply will not keep winning at home and were losing at half time against Hull City in their last outing on the South coast. They have also lost two out of their last three to relegation threatened Bristol City and Doncaster Rovers.
It is well documented that both teams play attractive attacking football and the viewing audience should be treated to a feast of goalmouth action.
Ian Holloway goes into the game not fearing the Saints: ‘The fact they have been doing so well makes me even more excited about it,’ he told the Blackpool Gazette.
‘They might have had the odd away defeat lately but their bandwagon doesn’t really look like coming off the tracks. Their home record is fantastic.
‘But this is the kind of challenge my players and I thrive on. We think we are a pretty good side ourselves and we will love going there.
‘We have to keep nicking points and staying up and around the top, and we think we can.’
Nigel Adkins thinks it’ll be an entertaining game. He told Saints Player: ‘I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good game and a great one for our supporters to enjoy.
‘We look at the stats that are provided by Prozone and they say that we are both sitting up the top of the league in respect of the amount of successful passes compared to everyone else, so we know that they play good football.
‘They were in the Premier League last year and most of those players who will feature on Saturday performed in the Premier League last year but we play some good football, we are very good at home as we all know, so it should make for a great game.
‘We played against Blackpool in the FA Cup last year and won, and a lot of the players who played then will be playing again on Saturday.
‘The way in which they play and the formation they use is very good, they pass the ball around and score goals because they are very attack minded, but so are we.’
Southampton Team News:
Ricky Lambert is likely to miss out again as he could only watch from the stands last Saturday as Southampton lost at Doncaster.
In his absence Lee Barnard might make the step up from the bench.
Player to watch: Guly
Do Prado has already scored seven league goals this season from an advanced midfield position and the Brazilian is still somewhat of a surprise package.
Blackpool Team News:
The Seasiders will again be without Keith Southern, who is recovering after surgery.
Elliot Grandin is close to fitness but won’t be risked while Alex Baptiste is out until Christmas.
Player to watch: Barry Ferguson
It’s imperative that Pool keep their defensive shape against a confident team that can overrun opponents with ease.
Therefore Barry Ferguson’s job is twofold. Firstly as captain to bark orders to keep the defensive unit as one.
And secondly, he’ll probably have the task of nullifying the threat of Guly.
Match Facts & Stats
You can predict the game in our Matchday Forum.
The eventual winner scoops a year’s subscription to Tangerine Player.
Saturday December 17