Date:Thursday September 30 2010
Sunday's trip to Liverpool could provide Blackpool with their biggest chance to upset the applecart amongst the Premiership hierarchy to date.
Following heavy away defeats at Arsenal and Chelsea, the Seasiders travel to Anfield with minimal expectations.
However, Ian Holloway and his team should be heartened by the Reds' start to the season, which has seen them record just one league win so far.
Roy Hodgson was brought in over the summer after the departure of Rafael Benitez, who saw his six-year stint at the club ended after finishing seventh in the Premier League. That is a long way short of what is expected, but they seem to be carrying on in the same vein under Hodgson.
Their solitary victory came at home to West Brom with a Fernando Torres goal enough to see off another of the promoted sides.
However, even that day Liverpool were described as 'ponderous, disjointed and overly reliant on the long ball,' by the Guardian.
What could be key to the success of the away side is the way that they approach the game. At Chelsea, Ian Holloway openly admitted after that he`d got his tactics wrong. The team was set up with a rigid five in midfield, which included defender Alex Baptiste as the anchor man. It's a bit tricky to defend against the Champions when your defensive midfielder is the furthest forward on regular occasions and Pool were severely punished, losing 4-0.
So when they try to defend against quality opposition, Blackpool invariably come unstuck as there is simply a lack of quality as a unit. Therefore, there is only one thing for it at Anfield: attack.
Liverpool's defence has shipped seven goals in their last three fixtures (including a harrowing penalties defeat at the hands of League Two Northampton Town) and Holloway has said that he plans to test to see how good the back four really are.
It can be described as a good plan to stick to what you know and are good at by attacking. But it could equally see Blackpool with egg on their face come five o`clock on Sunday. There has to be a measured game plan based on ball retention - which has been lacking so far this campaign - and squeezing Liverpool to make mistakes. Following West Brom's example at the Emirates Stadium (where they won 3-2) last weekend is a good starting point!
It is a massive game for both sides, make no mistake about it. The home team need to get their season on track and have rested Steven Gerrard for tonight's Europa Cup tie which indicates how big Sunday is. For Blackpool, well they simply need to show that they are capable of being competitive against the established teams in this league.
From what I've seen from Liverpool's handful of games, mistakes are there to be pounced upon. If they are, there might, just might, be a famous three points travelling back to the Fylde Coast.
Date:Thursday September 30 2010
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