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Paolo's Posh Preview - Blackpool

Peterborough United welcome Blackpool FC to The Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
Posh ground
It's back at home for Posh at the Weston Homes Stadium, with a visit from Blackpool on Saturday (Photo: John Baker)

Darren Ferguson’s side will be eager to return to the field on Saturday after a disappointing loss against Crewe Alexandra last weekend, which saw their lead at the top of League One cut to one-point, with one more game played.

A win against Blackpool on Saturday would see Posh maintain their spot at the top of the table heading into next week – depending on the Hull City and Ipswich Town results on Tuesday night – but will face a Blackpool side starting to hit the perfect form after three wins on the bounce.

How do we expect Posh to line-up?

Despite suffering their first defeat in eight League One games last Saturday; Ferguson is unlikely to make mass changes to his starting eleven and will hope it was just a bad day at the office against Crewe Alexandra.

One player that is expected to return to the starting eleven is Jack Taylor after he was on international duty with Ireland’s U21 before being called up to the senior squad for the first time in his career. He featured on the bench in Ireland’s 0-0 draw against Bulgaria in the UEFA Nations League.

The 22-year-old is likely to start against Blackpool, albeit he provides a negative test for Covid-19 on his return to Posh this week. Niall Mason is set to remain at right centre-back for Posh, despite being subbed off at half-time against Crewe, after defender Nathan Thompson remains unavailable for Ferguson due to a hamstring injury.

Youngster Flynn Clarke will also miss the home tie against Blackpool after suffering a hamstring injury in a midweek reserve game against Southend United. He will join fellow teenage striker, Ricky Jade-Jones, on the sidelines as he continues his rehabilitation from a leg injury.

Predicted line-up: Pym; Ward, Mason, Beevers, Kent, Butler; Taylor, Brown, Szmodics; Dembele and Clarke-Harris

Opposition View

Blackpool – also known as ‘the Tangerines’ – were regarded as potential play-off hopefuls when the season kicked-off in September. However, after a slow start, The Tangerines seem to be hitting the right form, but still find themselves in 15th in League One.

They will arrive at The Weston Homes Stadium after winning three games on the bounce where they managed not to concede a single goal. After winning just one game in their opening seven games, Blackpool seemed to have turned their fortunes around and aiming to start climbing up-the-table, with a 1-0 victory over struggler Wigan Athletic in their previous League One fixture.

Ahead of kick-off, we spoke to Blackpool supporter, Jane Stuart to find out what we can expect from Blackpool and the one player we should look out for:

“We’ve been playing 442 in recent weeks, which has seen an upturn in results. That said, we do adapt according to our opposition - and we did revert to 433 in our most recent match. We haven’t been conceding many of late, with three consecutive clean sheets. We’re looking more threatening upfront, too, which is great to see.”

Key Player: Kenny Dougall

“We’re just getting to know these players ourselves following a massive squad overhaul in the summer. We’re liking the look of Kenny Dougall in midfield. You won’t have any trouble spotting him as he has white hair! He covers a lot of ground and we love his energy.”

Past Meeting

These two sides have met 45 times in 48 years, as Posh currently hold the bragging rights with 20 victories compared to Blackpool’s 14.

However, Blackpool came out on top in their previous meeting in a seven-goal thriller at Bloomfield Road.

Mo Eisa handed Posh the lead, with a lovely dipped effort, before being cancelled out by a Niall Mason own-goal on the half-hour mark. Armand Gnanduillet handed Blackpool the lead, but Ivan Toney’s header pegged the scores level once again before half-time.

Gnanduillet converted from the spot-kick after Mark Beevers’ challenge on him to give the Tangerines the lead once again. Yet, Posh was also awarded a penalty when Ryan Edwards pulled down Beevers, and Marcus Maddison cooly converted from six yards out.

But Blackpool took the three points in a thrilling encounter after Liam Feeney’s free-kick deflected off Dan Butler and past Christy Pym for the winner.

Heading into the fixtures this weekend, Posh have only won once in their previous five meetings against Blackpool.

Past Five Meetings

Blackpool 4-3 Posh – Nov 2019
Blackpool 0-1 Posh – Apr 2019
Posh 2-2 Blackpool – Sep 2018
Blackpool 1-1 Posh – Feb 2018
Posh 0-1 Blackpool – Nov 2017

PeterboroughMatters Prediction 

After dropping points against Crewe last week, Ferguson’s men will be determined to maintain their lead at the top of League One, albeit for a couple more days. The return of Jack Taylor in midfield will hopefully see Posh regain full control of possession, which was missed last weekend.

Posh 2-0 Blackpool

Jane Stuart prediction; “This one is tough to predict, as we are in good form but haven’t faced particularly tough opposition in weeks. That said, our confidence is much improved, so I’ll go for a 1-0 win to the Seasiders.