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Preview: Blackpool v West Ham

Blackpool
vs.
West Ham

Bloomfield Road

Wednesday 2nd February

20.00

Definition of a six pointer: this game.

If the Seasiders win tonight, they open up a nice cushion between themselves and the relegation zone and thus take another massive step towards safety.

A draw and it's as you were really.

A defeat though will see the Seasiders dragged further down the table and it really will start to become 'squeaky bum time'.

We're not on a brilliant run of form, but the transfer window has given us all a lift and we now have a great chance of staying up, so let's get behind the lads and roar them onto a huge three points tonight.

COME ON YOU 'POOL!

Vital Quotes:

Avram Grant is a big fan of the Seasiders, but says that his West Ham side will give 110% tonight:

'For me, Blackpool are the team of the season and Ian Holloway is the manager of the season.

'They did miracles because everyone predicted they would quickly be on their way to the Championship again, and also I like how they play football.

'The next game is very important to us. Against Blackpool the players will give everything they have. It is important for both teams but for us it is more important.

'We need to continue like we have been doing in the past few weeks. We have played against teams around us, have played well and taken points. We have four good strikers now, and it is better I have this problem than it was before. I think now you will see improvement in all areas of the team.'

Blackpool Team News:

'Pool manager Ian Holloway will make a decision on whether captain Charlie Adam is in the right state of mind to play after the saga involving him on deadline day.

All of our new signings are available for selection, bar Sergei Kornilenko who is back in Russia finalising his work permit and visa.

David Carney has returned from international duty with Australia at the Asia Cup, but Chris Basham, Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks are all on the treatment table.

Player to watch: Charlie Adam

Do I really need to explain this one? No, thought not!

West Ham Team News:

Robbie Keane, Demba Ba and Gary O'Neil are all available after completing moves to the Hammers.

Ilunga faces a late fitness test, but Collison, Da Costa, Dyer, Hitzlsperger and Stanislas are all out injured.

Player to watch: Scott Parker

The heartbeat of the Hammers.

If you want an example of a one man team, look no further than West Ham.

Yes, the Hammers have strengthened this month but you still suspect they will be heavily reliant on their skipper.

Match Facts & Stats

Blackpool host West Ham for the first time since February 1971, a season that ended in the Seasiders' relegation from the top flight, with West Ham only spared the drop by one place.

'Pool have lost five out of the last six, with only Bolton and Wigan picking up fewer points in 2011.

West Ham are propping up the table and battling to become only the third team in Premier League history to start the month of February in bottom spot and go on to escape the drop.

'Pool haven't won in five league matches against the Hammers.

West Ham have kept just two clean sheets in their last 18 league games, and haven't kept a clean sheet on the road in 20 away league games.

Scott Parker will make his 100th league appearance for the Hammers tonight.

Next Fixtures:

Everton v Blackpool
Premier League
Saturday 5th February
15.00


Writer:Eamonn Moore
Date:Wednesday February 2 2011
Time: 1:01PM

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