It’s Premier League match time as Blackpool host Everton on Saturday afternoon. Blackpool are coming off a home win against West Brom in match week ten, their first, in their debut season in the Premier League.
Their critics might carp at Blackpool’s apparent struggle to put away a win against nine-man Albion on the day, but West Brom were playing to a defensive plan with two banks of four men each. But at the end of the day the Seasiders banked three full points and they won’t be complaining any time soon about that.
Blackpool have been the surprise package of the season and with wins against Liverpool and Newcastle before their third win last week, the Tangerines are in the top ten, thereby countering pre-tournament predictions of being relegation favourites.
Among the players who have made it possible is Elliot Grandin, and DJ Campbell’s return to Ian Holloway’s side on deadline day has been another crucial factor.
Blackpool skipper Charlie Adam in midfield has been a revelation. Blackpool owe their promotion to the Premier League to the twenty-four year old, who, with his pace and guile, has been key to Blackpool’s attack strategy this season.
For Everton, David Moyes will welcome the return from injury of Anichebe and Rodwell. Both players turned out for the Everton Reserves team on Wednesday, against the Blackpool Reserves, with Rodwell spending nearly an hour on the pitch, while Anichebe saw 20 minutes of action at the end. Rodwell appears certain to play in the Blackpool game on Saturday
Striker Jermaine Beckford scored in the 5-0 win against the Blackpool Reserves and that is a positive sign for the Toffees, ahead of Saturday’s Premier League encounter against the same rivals, at Bloomfield Road.
Everton are among the teams to have had a relatively quiet start this season but they are beginning to rumble and that’s bad news for other top six aspirants like Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Home advantage will work in Blackpool’s favour especially as Bloomfield Road is not the best of venues, especially for big teams like Everton who are used to certain standards of comfort when they travel.
Almond, Clarke and Baptiste are sidelined with injury on the Blackpool side, while Everton’s injury worries include Anichebe, Barkley, Rodwell, Fellaini, Jagielka and Osman.
In the game against Albion, Blackpool used the following players in their starting eleven: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt,
Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Taylor, Fletcher, Campbell, Varney
The following were the substitutes that played in the game: Kagielka, Keinan, Carney, Philips
Everton named the following players in their starting eleven against Stoke: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines,
Coleman, Arteta, Heitinga, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu
The substitutes who features in the match were: Saha, Bilyaletdinov
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