Opposition watch: Blackpool

The low-down on Tuesday evening's opponents from Bloomfield Road

A fixture which sees Wanderers currently hold the upper hand in terms of victories with 38 as opposed to the Seasiders' 31 in all competitions, clashes between the Whites and their Blackpool counterparts are rarely quiet affairs.

The stalemate at Bloomfield Road back in October was the first goalless draw in the clash in four decades, with 59 goals in 21 meetings since a 0-0 draw at Burnden Park in October 1974.

The Seasiders themselves make the short trip to BL6 boasting an unbeaten league record on the Reebok Stadium turf having recorded 2-2 draws in both their visits, but Wanderers did emerge victorious when the two sides met in the third round of the FA Cup in January.

A match which saw the Whites take an early lead courtesy of a David Ngog strike from distance, Tom Barkhuizen pulled the Tangerines back into contention with a similarly impressive goal on the stroke of half time.

Not to be deterred however, Bolton bounced back shortly after the restart through Jermaine Beckford – a goal which was the frontman’s 17th in 20 FA Cup outings.

A result which was certainly revenge for the final day of last season when Blackpool held out for a point and denied Wanderers a top six finish, Dougie Freedman and his side will certainly be hoping to go one better and pick up three points in Tuesday evening’s league encounter.

They will however come up against a side who have found their feet somewhat in recent weeks following a difficult campaign which saw the club relieve manager Paul Ince of his duties amidst an 18-game winless streak.

A season which had promised so much following an impressive start to the campaign for the Seasiders, the Bloomfield Road outfit currently reside in 18th position, below Wanderers on goal difference. 

Victories over Millwall and Huddersfield Town in the past fortnight have brought renewed optimism to Barry Ferguson’s side though, and although the possibility of staging a late run for the play-off positions is likely to be out of the question, the Seasiders will be looking to end the season on a high.

The departure of star man Thomas Ince to Crystal Palace on loan in January left many of the club’s supporters wondering where the goals would come from with the team having notched just 32 times in their 37 league outings, but veteran frontman Ricardo Fuller appears to have found his shooting boots in recent weeks having found the back of the net twice in three games.

His strikes against the Lions and the Terriers helped the Seasiders pick up two much-needed wins on home soil, but with his last goal on his travels coming back in a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City in November, the Blackpool faithful will be hoping that he can replicate his efforts on the road as the season heads towards its conclusion.

With local pride at stake along with three important points on Tuesday evening, both sides will no doubt be going all out to make their mark and climb up the Sky Bet Championship league standings in the final months of the campaign. 
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