Preview

So the international break is finally over! We've enjoyed our break and recharged our batteries and you'd hope that the players have too.

Chris Powell's men did look a bit tired in the fixture a fortnight ago against Blackburn. On the other hand you have to wonder if the break has spoilt that momentum Town had built up taking seven points from nine in a week that rejuvenated this season.

With time to heal Town may have a few players back in contention for a place in the squad for the visit of Blackpool. Jonathan Hogg may have recovered from the knock picked up at Wolves and Martin Paterson could feature for the first time this season, most likely from the bench.

As for James Vaughan nobody quite knows! Jon Stead has departed the club out on loan to Bradford City for the second season in a row.


Likely Line-up

One thing that is for certain is that Chris Powell has kept everyone guessing in his team line ups. From the questionable line up at home to Millwall to dropping Nahki Wells at Wolves.

The betting man would expect an unchanged side from the draw against Blackburn a fortnight ago where Powell played a bold 4-4-2 with Wells partnering Wigan loanee Grant Holt.

Although players like Lee Peltier and Danny Ward, who isn't joining Blackpool on loan despite the rumours, will be pushing for a start after some decent cameos.


Prediction

Town 2 - 0 Blackpool

This game is a must win in the terms of beating possible relegation rivals, although it is worrying that we are constantly looking over our soldiers.

Consistency and an improved performance has to be the aim for Town as although we took seven points from a possible nine in the last three games, we could have easily just had one.

Perhaps Grant Holt may get his first goal after an impressive start to his terriers career.


Know Your Enemy

If you didn't know already, throughout this season, Thrice Champions will be getting the views of opposition fans, bloggers and podcasters so you know the story behind the club they know so much about.

Ahead of tomorrows clash at home against Blackpool, we spoke to Seasiders podcast presenter John Aspinall to get the low down on the opposition.

Here's what he had to say to our questions...


TC: How key was the result against Cardiff to give Blackpool a sniff of a chance of staying up?

JA: I'd say it was a key game we simply had to win.  We would have been cut too far adrift to have any chance of survival in my opinion.  It was also an essential boost for the confidence of the players and to get the winless monkey off their players.  It also gave the fans a big lift when we were all at a pretty low ebb.

TC: Many fans know the gist of what is happening at Blackpool with the Oyston family, but could you explain what has happened at your club?

JA: I could write a 10,000 word thesis on the Oyston's "management" of Blackpool FC over the past four years but shall attempt to summarise the key points it in a couple of paragraphs:

They have been diverting the vast majority of the huge revenue's generated from our season in the Premier League, the four subsequent parachute payments and an estimated £20 million in players sales, into a myriad of other Oyston owned companies.  They claim they are "interest free loans" to be repayable when the club needs it. 

Our only legacy from the Premier League is a pitch sprinkler system. The club still has an absolute disgraceful training ground which was has not been upgraded since the 1950's. We still have a temporary stand at Bloomfield Road.  

He has sold all our best players and replaced them all with free transfers and cast offs all on one year contracts.

Both Karl and his son, Sam, have been openly mocking fans protests against them and seem to enjoy to antagonising fans.  See this link:  

http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/webimage/1.6550166.1398425310!/image/2244480991.jpg_gen/derivatives/articleImgDeriv_628px/2244480991.jpg

They have also banned several fans from the stadium for protesting against them and have even been attempting to sue several fans for defamation, in addition to stadium bans. 

Read this for more details:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2611556/Blackpool-exclusive-Club-owners-paying-26m-Premier-League-promotion.html

TC: Realistically where do Blackpool go from the position they are now with the owners you have?

JA: Unless our owners change the way they manage the club (which is as likely as a Yorkshireman buying the first round) I'd say we are going back down the lower leagues and stagnating down there.  I would personally take us going down to League Two if it mean the Oyston family had nothing to do with Blackpool FC.

TC: Are you surprised Jose Riga is still at the club given that there were rumours of Karl Oyston tapping up other managers?

JA: Extremely surprised.  I would have walked.  His assistant already did as he hadn't been paid, ever.  Riga is a bit of cult hero at Blackpool, purely for the fact that he has stood up to Oyston and told it exactly how it/he is which is something the like of Ian Holloway, Michael Appleton and Paul Ince never did.

TC: How do you sum up this summers transfer dealings?

JA: Laughable for a so called professional football league club, particularly at Championship level, you wouldn't even expect that at a non-league club.

TC: Which Blackpool player should Huddersfield fans worry about?

JA: Ishmael Miller can be devastating if his head is into it.

TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think Blackpool fans should worry about?

JA: James Vaughan, although I believe he isn't playing so I'll go with Grant Holt.

TC: What is your prediction for Saturday?

JA: Hudds 1 - Blackpool 2.  We have a been decent in the last three games and I have a feeling we will sneak this one as your ground (not sure what it's called these days!) has always been a happy hunting ground for the 'Pool.

TC: How has Peter Clarke been for you since rejoining in the summer?

JA: Pretty good.  We know what he was about from our stint with us but I did expect him to be way past his past his best and slower, but he has been a king pin in the defence and is great leader on the pitch as well.


Blackpool podcaster John Aspinall of  the Seasiders Podcast was speaking with Thrice Champions' Greg Marah.

Don't forget you can still vote for Thrice Champions in the Football Blog Awards. For more information CLICK HERE

Comment