Date:Thursday April 1 2010
2nd April 2010
Scunthorpe away conjurs up memories of hard-fought - often dour - games battling in the bottom divisions, scrapping for survival most of the time.
But Good Friday's fixture at Glanford Park isn't about surviving, it provides the Seasiders with a perfect opportunity to kick their charge towards the Premiership into overdrive.
And infact the last time 'Pool were involved in a promotion race, they went to Scunthorpe and picked up all three points, winning 3-1 in the 2007 promotion campaign.
That was the first and last time a Blackpool side won at United.
Eight players from both sides that day are likely to play a part in tomorrow's encounter, including Andy Butler, who was on the bench for the Iron.
Nigel Adkins' side are on a little run which has lifted them out of trouble slightly. Crucial wins against Peterborough, Plymouth along with an impressive three points at Sheffield United mean they're now five ahead of the dropzone with a game in hand.
Ian Holloway's men are on a decent run themselves, picking seven points out of the last nine, and are now the only real challengers for a top six place - unless Doncaster go on a big winning run.
Roared on by at least 1,000 fans, this could be the day which cements us as a real threat to the playoffs or sees us drift.
It seems that Ollie has now realised we're well in the playoff mix: 'I am absolutely buzzing I have to say, I'm loving every minute of this.
'I am pleased for the lads that we're doing well and in with a chance because they've been so good all season - they deserve it.
'If you think about the games we've lost, we've still been in with a chance in nearly all of them.
'There have been only three performances where we haven't done very well, all involving Sheffield - United away and Wednesday away and home. We let ourselves down in those.
'But the rest of the season has been an absolute joy and I think we've played some fantastic football.
'The lads are improving. They are gaining belief as a group, although they are having to learn as we go on because they are not used to being in this position.'
Scunthorpe have major doubts over two of their stand-out players. Defender David Mirfin and the influential midfielder Grant McCann will both be assessed before kick off, with at least one expected to miss out. One time 'Pool target Josh Wright could fill in for the latter.
Scoring threat Gary Hooper has been out injured for a few weeks but the Iron haven't struggled in his absence so even if he is fit expect him to remain on the bench.
Matt Sparrow is out, as is former Blackpool favourite Ian Morris. Lanky defender Rob Jones also misses out, as does Cliff Byrne.
The former Morecambe midfielder has been in good form after being pushed into a more advanced role recently - scoring three in his last three games.
Ok, good news: Bouazza is back. DJ Campbell is back and David Vaughan is back.
It could be that one of them starts the game, although it would be harsh to drop anyone at the minute.
Most likely to drop to the bench is Gary Taylor-Fletcher who's been playing in the midfield.
The bad news: both Stephen Crainey and Brett Ormerod are out for the foreseeable future.
The big defender will need to be on his toes to keep Thompson and Hayes at bay up front.
Evo has been fantastic all season long and if he can keep up his partnership with Alex Baptiste, there could be another clean sheet on its way.
Predict the game, by clicking here >>>
Monday April 5
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Date:Thursday April 1 2010
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