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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: BLACKPOOL V WIGAN ATHLETIC

27 February 2015

Latics head to the seaside to take on bottom club Blackpool.

  • Latics in search of back-to-back away wins.
  • 1-0 victory in home meeting with Blackpool.
  • Around 2,000 supporters set to travel to Bloomfield Road.
Latics head to the coast on Saturday for a crunch match in the fight for Sky Bet Championship survival against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road (3.00pm kick off).

Leon Barnett could be set for a return to the squad, and striker Leon Clarke has been making positive progress with his shoulder injury, but could miss out until next week.  The game has proved too early for midfielder William Kvist.

Blackpool welcome Latics having drawn two and lost two of their previous four games, with the latest a 4-0 defeat at Brentford, in which the Bees had over 40 attempts on goal.

Around 2,000 Latics fans are set to make the trip to Bloomfield Road, with admission available on the day through cash only turnstiles.

LAST MEETING



Wigan Athletic 1-0 Blackpool
Saturday 23 August 2014
DW Stadium
Sky Bet Championship


Latics claimed their first victory of the season against Blackpool back in August, with Spanish striker Oriol Riera taking the only goal of the game to end a three game winless run at the start of the campaign.

Riera's tidy finish inside the area on 35 minutes was fitting for a dominant display in the first half, but a newly reformed Blackpool side under Jose Riga made it difficult to build on the opening goal as Latics settled for the 1-0 win.

Latics arguably deserved a bigger margin of victory, but were happy to collect the points after back-to-back defeats prior to the North West clash.

BLACKPOOL IN 2015 SO FAR

Since the turn of the year, Blackpool have recorded two victories, two draws and five defeats in the Sky Bet Championship, along with a narrow defeat in the FA Cup against Aston Villa at Villa Park, despite an impressive display.

Following their third round exit, Blackpool made sure it would be a positive league start to 2015, with Peter Clarke on target in a 1-0 home win against Millwall.

Blackpool couldn't keep their New Year hopes up for long though, with back-to-back defeats against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford, the second of which stood out for the Hornets' seven second half goals, despite Lee Clark's men taking a 2-0 lead into the break.

Clark, who joined the club in October 2014, made six additions heading into the second half of the season, with Connor Oliver and David Ferguson joining from Sunderland, alongside loanees Joe Rothwell (Manchester United), Formose Mendy (Sporting Gijon), Gary Madine (Sheffield Wednesday) and Islam Feruz (Chelsea).  On Wednesday Blackpool also extended their loan of defender Niall Maher (pictured below) from Bolton Wanderers.



There were four exits from Bloomfield Road in January, as Joan Oriol joined Rapid Bucharest, Ishmael Miller moved to Huddersfield Town and Chris Eagles switched to Charlton Athletic, scoring on his debut against Latics last week.

A response to their 7-2 defeat at Vicarage Road was needed and obtained on January 31, another single goal victory at home, this time against Brighton & Hove Albion thanks to a Jamie O'Hara goal.

Back-to-back defeats followed, before a bizarre 4-4 draw against Nottingham Forest.  Blackpool had a 2-0 lead on 66 minutes thanks to Gary Madine and Andrea Orlandi, but by the 70th minute a combination of Dexter Blackstock and Gary Gardner had pulled things level for the visitors.

Steven Davies made it 3-2 on 73 minutes, but an error of judgement from Tom Aldred handed Forest a penalty and saw the defender sent off, with Henri Lansbury obliging from the spot to make it 3-3.

Chris Burke had then seemingly crushed Blackpool hearts in stoppage time, pushing Dougie Freedman's men 4-3 ahead. The Tangerines didn't give up though, and in the seventh minute of 10 added on, David Ferguson rose higher than everyone from a corner to nod in the eighth goal of the game, claiming a crucial point.



Another point was collected a week later away to Blackburn Rovers, but the recent defeat to Brentford grabbed more headlines as the Bees recorded 42 attempts on goal in a 4-0 victory.

MAN TO WATCH - GARY MADINE

The 24-year-old front man arrived on loan from Sheffield Wednesday earlier this month, having started the season with the Owls, before spending a short term period at the Ricoh Arena with Coventry City, for whom he scored four goals in 13 games.

Madine made his Blackpool debut on Tuesday 10 February as a substitute against his boyhood club Middlesbrough, with his first start coming in the 4-4 draw against Forest, the striker himself getting the ball rolling in an incredible afternoon.

It remains Madine's only goal so far from the Tangerines, but the physical forward could prove tough to handle on an uncompromising surface at Bloomfield Road.



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