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Play-off final: where it will be won and lost

We look at the play-off final's key battle grounds and where promotion could be won and lost for Blackpool and West Ham United.

Tomkins v Taylor-Fletcher

Although not amongst the goals - scoring just four since October - Gary Taylor-Fletcher`s ability to hold up possession, link with the midfield three and set the speedy wingers away make him a possible match winner.

Sam Allardyce will be keen for James Tomkins to pressurise the striker into playing quick ball, thus minimising time to dwell - where GTF is at his most effective.



Guy Demel v Tom Ince

Of course, if the Hammers play a line which is too high and Taylor-Fletcher is able to release Tom Ince quickly, Guy Demel could be in trouble. However, the full back has impressed recently with solid performances and has been preferred to Julian Faubert.

Mark Noble v Angel Martinez

This is the most intriguing tussle of them all. Both are elegant on the ball, and the vast greenery of Wembley presents them the perfect platform to showcase an extensive range of passing. It may be a case of both standing off each other, with whoever uses possession the better ending on the winning side.

Kevin Nolan v Barry Ferguson

Ooth captains directly come up against each other. Ferguson for the most part will be trying to take up intelligent positions in order to stifle Nolan`s attacking threat. But as we saw at St Andrew`s last Wednesday, the former Rangers man can branch forward if need be. Nolan`s disdain in tracking back may open up some gaps for Ferguson to exploit higher up the pitch.

Carlton Cole v Ian Evatt

Ian Evatt handled Nikola Zigic superbly last week and he is likely to face another target man striker again in Carlton Cole. The big man has five goals in his last six games and has more nous about him than Zigic.

Not only will Evo have to watch his nose again in the aerial battle, but Cole`s pace in behind could also prove a problem.




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The journalist

Writer: Editor Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 16 2012

Time: 12:12PM

Your Comments

Good Luck Blackpool......
watford1881
I'll second that, beat those Hammers!
merlin
Take some paracetamol if your going to wembley, after watching wet spam hump it high and mighty vs Birmingham, the ball will need some come half time, that will most likely be Mike Bassets plan against you guys. PLEASE DON'T ALLOW THIS LOT TO BEAT YOU, the championship needs teams like wet spam. GOOD LUCK ...Oh and if you do make it, have you got under soil heating yet......from a spurs fan
spu 4 life
 

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