In For A Royal Bashing?
9th December 2008
I was reading this morning that the world looks a much better place after back-to-back victories, a healthy lead on the relegation places and the top half in touching distance; said poster couldn't have been more right.
However, before the fantastic 2-1 win away at Plymouth last week, the world was about to end, wasn't it? Only four points clear of the drop zone, five defeats on the spin and just one goal in that period.
So, what's changed?!
A certain Liam Dickinson. The tall striker, on loan from Derby County, has lit up a season which was in danger of stagnating, with four goals in just 105 minutes of football. The Seasiders were staring down the barrel of yet another reverse at Home Park when Dickinson was introduced. A game and a bit later, we're a reformed side. Ok, we weren't actually that great on Saturday in the 2-0 win at home to strugglers Charlton Athletic, but we ground out a performance - something that has been lacking.
Simon Grayson's men can travel to Reading tomorrow with a real belief that they can cause an upset against a team who are second only to Birmingham City in having the best home record in the division. And look what The Tangerines did to The Blues at St. Andrews!
Last Time Out:
Reading came across a stubborn Barnsley on Saturday afternoon as Steve Coppell's men won 1-0, although having to play 65 minutes with just ten men.
The kick-off was also delayed after Reading's coach broke down on the way to Oakwell.
Despite this, they stretched their run of just one defeat in seven.
Reading Team News:
Reading are hearing an appeal to Jimmy Kebe's weekend red card on Tuesday afternoon. If that is unsuccessful, the midfielder will be out of the game.
It isn't known which way the decision will go; the red card looked harsh but Kebe did raise his hands.
Probable Eleven: Hahnemann, Rosenior, Duberry, Ingimarsson, Armstrong, Gunnarsson, Cisse, Harper, Stephen Hunt, Doyle, Noel Hunt
Player to watch: Kevin Doyle
The Ireland international hasn't scored in his last two games and will be wanting to break that chain against The Seasiders.
Although Doyle is an obvious choice for player to watch, a goal threat is posed from all over the pitch, especially from the Hunt brothers.
Blackpool Team News:
'Pool are likely to name the same eleven which started the win on Saturday. The only change could come on the substitutes bench with Daniel Nardiello pushing Steve Kabba for a spot in the sixteen.
Player to watch: Ian Evatt
The big centre defender has got to be at the top of his game if he is to keep out Doyle and co.
This season has seen a string of great performances by Evo, but tomorrow could be his toughest test yet.
Match Facts & Stats
Blackpool haven't beaten Reading since 1983. The last fixture between the two was in 2002 at the Madejski, and a Nicky Forster hatrick helped the home side to a 3-0 win.
Nottingham Forest v Blackpool;