Blackpool on Sunday in their first meeting in the Premier
League, coming off the back of a good run for both sides.
Blackpool are unbeaten since fielding a second strong side
against Aston Villa and narrowly losing 2-3 back in
mid-November, following it up with wins over Stoke City and
Wolverhampton Wanderers, while drawing with West ham United
and Bolton Wanderers. Before that they beat West
Bromwich Albion at home and Liverpool away, so they are
capable of missing it with the big boys, as manager Ian
Holloway has got them relying on their attacking instincts,
much like Harry Redknapp has with Spurs.
It should be an
open attacking game with goals and Spurs arrive at
Bloomfield Road with four wins and four draw sin all
competitions in the lead up to this match. With the
Champions League matches showing Spurs in a very good light,
the Premier League matches have been more of a battle for
Tottenham, with draws against Birmingham City and Chelsea in
their last two outings.
Blackpool will be a test of character, as the tangerines
will be piling forward and Spurs will have to organise
themselves as well as the home team and then work at getting
through their rigid 4-4-2 system.
Gilks out injured, Richard Kingson has taken the gloves and
has done well in recent weeks. Had a mixed reputation
while playing for Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, making
the odd-ball error, but has appeared to have settled down to
keeping in a more reliable manner.
may be boosted by the return of Keith Southern, although he
could replace suspended captain Charlie Adam in midfield.
A strong ball-winner in either position, Southern has been a
stalwart at the club and would be giving 100% to make sure
the team push on to get a result from the game.
Stephen Crainey, Neal Eardley, Ian Evatt, Craig Cathcart and
Rob Edwards have mixed an matched in the other defensive
positions, with all of them coming up with Blackpool and
Evatt and Edwards carrying a load of experience after
playing numerous games for a number of clubs.
Alternatively, Alex Baptiste could play, as he is a mobile
central defender, who has a bit of pace and is good in
attacking positions form free-kicks.
Sylvestre is a new signing who has been trying to impress
the manager enough to get a chance in the side having
featured regularly so far, while loan signing Luke Varney
from Derby County has made some valuable contributions -
both in terms of scoring and making goals. His fee
might price Blackpool out of a permanent deal, which would
be a shame for player and club alike. David Carney
played in Holland before joining, Blackpool and the
Australian adds energy and fight to the midfield, so Spurs
will need to ensure that they don't take things for granted
and knuckle down to earn the space and possession to be able
to attack Blackpool. There is experience in the shape
of Jason Euell, who ahs been around with Charlton Athletic
and Southampton, but his legs are not what they were, so
might lack pace to keep up with the likes of Bale and
David Vaughan has been a fixture in wide positions in
midfield and his crosses feed Taylor-Fletcher and DJ
Campbell, so the supply top him needs to be cut out by
staying tight to him, while French midfielder Elliot Grandin
was brought in to add a little flair to the midfield.
Playing most games so far, he has found it tricky to come to
terms with the pace of the English game, but is a trier.
Matt Phillips has also been a regular selection, so the
absence of Adam might be off-set by moving him into the
captain's position and playing a replacement on the flank.
force is a little limited, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher, DJ
Campbell and Brett Ormerod forming the threat up front.
Taylor-Fletcher is the target man, who can also use his feet
as well as his head, while Campbell is pacy and tricky on
the ball. Both have shown the ability to score in the
top flight, but with former Ipswich Town striker Billy
Clarke sidelined with injury, veteran Ormerod might be
called upon at some stage to get into the action and he is
still lively in the box and has the ability to turn on a
sixpence to hit the target.
have had a rare week off from action and should be raring to
go. Still hit by injuries, it might be that a few
fringe players are given a run-out form the bench, should
the team go into the lead and if they can stand toe to toe
with Blackpool in the early stages, they could go on to win
with ease. I can't see Tottenham running away with it,
even with Defoe coming back and looking sharp, but they
should be able to impose their game on Blackpool enough to
get a result to travel back home with ...
: - Blackpool 1
Tottenham Hotspur 3
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the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click