Forest Stand in The Way of 'Pool's Wembley Dream
The City Ground
May 11th, 2010
Who's nervous then? There isn't long to go before the defining game of a fantastic season for the Seasiders.
And to be honest, I'm feeling it now!
Ian Holloway's team hold a slender one goal advantage after their 2-1 over Nottingham Forest in the playoff first leg and go to the City Ground knowing a draw will see them reach Wembley for the second time in four seasons.
A formidable Forest home record stands in Blackpool's way though. Billy Davies' men haven't lost on their own patch since September 19 - the day Charlie Adam's solo effort earned 'Pool all three points in Nottingham.
A repeat of that would see Adam and co stroll out at Wembley next Saturday against either Cardiff or Leicester.
The Tangerines had very few tickets left for the game this morning and it looks to have sold out, which will see 30,000 founds penned into the ground. Let's hope the scale of the game doesn't overawe 'Pool.
Whatever happens, it's been a brilliant season and Ollie still deserves to be knighted!
Defender Alex Baptiste: 'We think we can go to Forest and get what we need.
'We know it is going to be hard. There fans are different class at that place and there will be 30,000 of them, so we know what to expect.
'But we can definitely do it. We are not scared of anyone and we are going there a goal ahead, so if we draw we are through.
'It is pretty much even stevens I think and we know how tough the away leg is going to be, so there was no point celebrating on Saturday.
'It is basically half-time and it was simply a case of back to training yesterday, and now on to Nottingham.
'We know exactly what is going to happen at Forest - they need to come out and get a goal.'
Billy Davies, at his arrogant best: 'We are intending to score goals tonight, so we will play many goal scorers.
'We will throw everything we have got at it.
'We are going to go all out to score. If they score, we will score three.
'If they score three, we will try to score five.
'We know what we have to do. We can sit and talk about being cautious, about doing whatever.
'But it is what it is. We have to go out and be as attack-minded as we have been all season.
'We have to get the job done against Blackpool and get to the final.'
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Southern-esque midfielder Guy Moussi is fit again for the hosts and could start alongside Paul McKenna and Chris Cohen in the Forest midfield.
With Billy Davies wanting goals he looks set to drop a winger - probably Nathan Tyson - and go two up front with the inclusion of Rob Earnshaw.
Player to watch: Rob Earnshaw
Despite being on the bench nearly as much as he's played this season, Earnshaw has still managed 15 goals - coming in 20 starts.
His pace could frighten Ian Evatt in the Blackpool defence and Earnshaw's finishing will hopefully be matched by Matt Gilks' improved shot-stopping.
Gilks could again be the Blackpool hero, as I'd expect a few chances going Rob's way.
Blackpool Team News:
The Seasiders have no fresh injury worries. Charlie Adam still has that 15th booking looming over him and if he sees yellow again will miss the final if indeed 'Pool get there.
Ian Holloway has said if the captain does get booked that he's expecting no Gazza-like tears.
With 'Pool needing to retain the ball for long spells, they could be tempting to drop Gary Taylor-Fletcher in place of either Stephen Dobbie or Barry Bannan.
Player to watch: DJ Campbell
The striker's eight goals so far in his loan spell have propelled 'Pool into a playoff spot and now they're there, he'll want to add to that.
A goal for the away side is going to be crucial - despite the away goals rule not in effect - and Campbell will be looking to make amends for his miss on Saturday.
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Who knows? It could be next Saturday at Wembley or in August...