Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday April 16 2011
The day is here... D Day.
Blackpool v Wigan... if there was ever a six-pointer, this is it.
We beat Wigan 4-0 on the opening day of the season to top the table, but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and defeat today would see the Seasiders drop into the bottom three for the first time this season.
Let us not dwell on that though; apparently confidence is high in the camp, and although I am very nervous about today, I do think that the 'Pool can win - especially if we play like we did against Arsenal.
So get yourselves down to Bloomfield Road this afternoon and roar the lads on to a vital three points... BELIEVE.
'Pool manager Ian Holloway has compared his side to Rocky Balboa:
'We always knew we were going to be a bit punch-drunk by the end of the season with the level we are at.
'We have been on the ropes a little. We thought we'd be on them a lot more. We thought we'd be on the canvas, actually knocked out, bottom of the league.
'But the great thing is that we haven't been knocked down yet. We've wobbled and the old chin is a bit sore. That is because people are good but we are trying to become as good as them.
'But all in all, the old slugger is still standing and we have six more punches to try to throw. Do I think we can land a couple of them? Yes, I do.
'It's like Rocky. We want to be on top of those steps punching the air. That's what it is all about.
'You have to dream, otherwise what is the point of living?
'We are living our dream here and I don't ever want to wake up.'
Despite Ollie saying he still wasn't fit enough, it is our understanding that Matt Gilks will start in goal this afternoon.
David Vaughan misses out though (unless Ollie's bluffing there as well!). Indeed, he could miss the rest of the season after chipping his hip bone.
If indeed Gilks does start, we need him to come up trumps and defy his ring rust.
Maynor Figueroa begins a two match ban, but otherwise Roberto Martinez has everyone available.
There are two Charles N'Zogbia's.
One is a very talented midfielder who can run teams ragged. The other is a petulent so and so who disrupts his own team.
Let's hope that the latter turns up today!
Wigan have been scoring less than a goal a game on average.
The Latics also last won away from home on Boxing Day.
Wigan have won just one of their last seven matches against Blackpool in all competitions - 2-0 at Bloomfield Road in their last league visit in November 2002.
No side has kept a clean sheet in 15 league matches at Bloomfield Road this season, including Blackpool. If that run continues against Wigan, the Tangerines will be only the second club in top-flight history to do this in their first 16 home matches of the season and the first since Chelsea (19 matches) in 1960/61.
Blackpool have conceded 66 league goals this season, more than any other team in the top flight - 15 of those have come in the final 10 minutes of games.
Charlie Adam has scored nine Premier League goals this season. The last Scotsman to reach double figures in one season was Paul Dickov, who scored 11 goals for Leicester City in 2003/04.
Keith Southern has made 299 league appearances for Blackpool.
The Latics have only won two of their last 14 league games.
They have failed to score in four of their last five league matches.
Tom Cleverley scored in both games against Blackpool while on loan with Watford last season.
Saturday 23rd April: Blackpool v Newcastle
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Date:Saturday April 16 2011
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