Preview: 'Pool v Villa
Saturday 12th February
Another big game, but then they all are now aren't they?
Villa have gradually begun to pull away from the drop zone, whilst the Seasiders slide ever closer to it.
Truth be known, I'd be delighted with a point just to stop the rot.
Either way, it should be a tasty encounter given the animosity between between Ian Holloway and Gerard Houllier in recent months coupled with the blinkered big club attitude adopted by many Villa fans who have graced this site in recent times.
Villa beat us 3-2 at their place in November; a game that Ollie made ten changes for, resulting in a fine for 'fielding a weakened team'. There's no chance of that happening tomorrow though. Mind you, if we defend like we have in recent weeks tomorrow we might as well field a 'weakened team'!
Gerard Houllier is not upset about failing to land Charlie Adam and thinks that the midfielders he has at his disposal are better than the Scot:
'Adam was a target for us, Liverpool and Tottenham. I like the player, otherwise I wouldn`t have made a bid, an official bid. But I prefer my midfielders. We`ve recruited some good players.'
Meanwhile, Ollie says that he's immensely proud of his players whether they win another game between now and the end of the season or not:
'Even if we don`t get another point between now and the end of the season, I am going to tell my lads I am still proud of them.
'Sunderland spent a fortune when they first came up and they got 15 points. They got 19 the next time they came up.
'I`m just pleased that the platform we have given ourselves, 28 points from 25 games, is much better than any of us expected, including me, so let`s crack on.'
Blackpool Team News:
Paul Rachubka got injured in training yesterday and will miss the rest of the season. Richard Kingson is the only fit keeper left on 'Pool's books and will replace Rabs unless 'Pool manage to make an emergeny loan signing before tomorrow.
David Carney looks set to remain at left back with Stephen Crainey still out injured and Sala Sbai short on fitness.
Chris Basham and Matt Gilks are long term absentees, whilst Sergei Kornilenko will again miss out as he looks to build his fitness.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
Not been at his best recently, but Houllier's comments might just fire him up.
If 'Pool are going to get out of the rut they're in then we need the likes of Adam to lead from the front.
Aston Villa Team News:
Villa are almost at full strength for tomorrow's game. Only Baker and Luke Young are set to miss out through suspension and injury respectively.
Player to watch: Darren Bent
Had a nightmare against us for Sunderland in December, but you feel that he'll not be as wasteful this time should our defence be as generous again.
Match Facts & Stats
The last time we played Villa at Bloomfield Road was in April 1975 in the old Second Division. Villa won 3-0.
Blackpool have the worst home record in the Premier League; 11 points from 11 matches.
The Seasiders have also conceded the most goals in the league (49), including 16 in the last 5 games.
Villa have only picked up 9 points from 13 games on the road this season.
They have only kept one clean sheet in their last sixteen league games.
Tuesday 22nd February
Blackpool v Spurs