Blackpool on Sunday in their first meeting in the Premier
League, having had the original game back in December
Blackpool were unbeaten
for a while back then, but their fortunes have turned and
they haven't won in six matches. They are
capable of mixing it with the big boys, as manager Ian
Holloway has got them relying on their attacking instincts,
much like Harry Redknapp has with Spurs, so they shouldn't
be taken lightly.
It should be an
open attacking game with goals and Spurs arrive at
Bloomfield Road with two defeats in the last twenty games in 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 hard earned wins against Blackburn Rovers,
Bolton and Sunderland in
their last three 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 is missing with an injury, but Neal Eardley, Ian Evatt, Craig Cathcart and
Alex Baptiste 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, Baptiste could play, as he is a mobile
central defender, who has a bit of pace and is good in
attacking positions from 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 or defence,
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. Former Spur Andy Reid
will be waiting to meet his old team, having joined from
Sunderland in January and while he still has questions asked
about his fitness, his ability to deliver a good ball into
the box cannot be criticised.
is the star performer for the Tangerines and his powerful
displays from midfield attracted the attention of Spurs in
the transfer window and but for a few minutes more near the
deadline, he might have been turning out in a white shirt
instead of a brighter hued one. He has scored goals
with his head, from distance, from free-kicks and even
straight from a corner against West Ham United. Many
clubs have cast an envious eye on the Scot and he will be
one who will have been noted by Harry Redknapp as a player
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.
Malaury Martin is a bit of an enigma, who can be influential
when on form, but might disappear from the play when not.
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. They have been joined in
the January transfer window by James Beattie, back down
South from Glasgow Rangers, who offers a physical presence
that might upset the Spurs central defenders. Another
new arrival is Jason Puncheon from Southampton, where he
scored a good few goals and he looks quick and sharp in
taking his opportunities.
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,
with van der Vaart and Bale missing, Defoe coming back and
needing a goal, but despite what will be a heavy pitch, 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