Blackpool v Blackburn Rovers: Team news, predicted line-up and quotes from Neil Critchley

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The Seasiders return to action in a Lancashire derby at Bloomfield Road this weekend looking to put Tuesday night’s disappointment behind them.


Neil Critchley’s side were on course to record their third straight win when they led 1-0 against 10-man Hull City with just 10 minutes to go.

But, despite being a man down, the struggling Tigers rallied to notch a late equaliser through substitute Tom Eaves.

Critchley was visibly angry at the full-time whistle at Blackpool’s failure to put Grant McCann’s side to the sword.

But there’s nothing that can be done to change the result and, concentrating on the positive, the Seasiders still remain in good form having lost just one of their last five games.

The same can also be said for sixth-placed Blackburn, despite suffering a narrow 3-2 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.

Tony Mowbray’s side, who are expected to be backed by over 3,000 fans on Saturday, had enjoyed a five-game unbeaten run prior to the Huddersfield defeat, which culminated in a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City last weekend.

Neil Critchley will be looking to get over Tuesday night's disappointment

Neil Critchley will be looking to get over Tuesday night’s disappointment

Team news

Neil Critchley is likely to have the same pool of players available to him against Blackburn Rovers than he did for the midweek draw at Hull City.

Demetri Mitchell and Gary Madine both came through their first starts of the season unscathed and will be in contention once again.

There are no fresh fitness concerns from the midweek trip to Humberside, but Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (Achilles), Owen Dale (foot) and CJ Hamlton (foot) all remain sidelined.

“I spoke to the physio after the game, but I’ve not had anything through to say there were any issues,” Critchley said.

“Obviously they’ll be fatigued, but that’s normal after every game.

“But there are no injury concerns and everyone else came through the game fine, so we’re expecting it to be very similar squad-wise.”

Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic, Bez Lubala and Joe Nuttall, meanwhile, continue to be left out having not been registered in Blackpool’s 25-man squad.

Blackburn, meanwhile, will be without right-back Ryan Nyambe through concussion, while captain Darragh Lenihan is also struggling with a groin problem.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“It’s a great game to look forward to.

“We look forward to every game, but when you get into the Championship to play a club like Blackburn is a great challenge for us.

“Other than their result against Huddersfield the other night, they’ve been on a great run of form and they’ve got good players and a good manager. It’s another great test for us.

“We’re in a decent bit of form ourselves, so it has the makings of a really good game.

“I’m really looking forward to 3pm on Saturday because you know it will be a fantastic atmosphere and hopefully we can back up our Fulham and Barnsley performances with another good performance and three points.”

Opposition view

“We’ll take a lot of support, it will be an away day for the fans, Blackburn Rovers going to Blackpool there will be a lot of expectation and yet as I say they’ve grown into the league, they’re doing pretty well. They’re not the whipping boys that everyone turns up to beat.

“It’s a tough game. We will apply ourselves, bring our energy and style to the game and hopefully get three points if we can.

“I like the coach, he’s a football person who’s had a fantastic upbringing in football with Liverpool and the education of working and developing players.

“I look at their squad, they’re not household names but they’re a solid football team. They beat Fulham who seem to be the team that can dominate in this league at the moment.

“It’s the next game for us. I don’t see any game being any less difficult or easier than the previous one.

“Blackpool away is a tough football match against a team who have proven they can get results, proven how hard they are to play against and how dangerous they can be.”

Pool’s predicted line-up (442): Maxwell, Gabriel, Keogh, Ekpiteta, Garbutt, Stewart, Wintle, Mitchell, Anderson, John-Jules, Lavery