Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Monday January 2 2012
Monday 2nd January
After ending 2011 with a whimper, Blackpool look to start 2012 with a bang this afternoon against high flying Middlesbrough.
Today's result could go a long way towards dictating the shape of the second half of the season for us; a win would keep up the pressure on the top six, but a defeat could see us slip down into mid-table.
Let's hope for a great performance and win from the boys in tangerine as we look to start 2012 in the best possible fashion.
'Pool manager Ian Holloway has spoken of his delight at landing long-term loan target Danny Wilson:
'He's a very, very good defender and as we look at where we want to get to, we've got to stop goals going in. I'm delighted Liverpool are entrusting me with him.'
There appears to be some confusion over whether Barry Ferguson is suspended today or not following his red card against Birmingham on New Year's Eve, with 'Pool stating after the game that they were going to appeal the Scot's dismissal against his old club.
Ian Holloway is yet to be punished by the FA for being sent to the stands in the same game, so expect him to be patrolling his technical area with the usual vigour.
Danny Wilson could make his debut.
After some of the defending that was on display on New Year's Eve, Wilson could get the nod this afternoon to make his debut.
There's a lot of expectation surrounding the young lad from Liverpool; can he live up to it?
Tony Mowbray has hinted that he could rotate some of his squad following the draw with Peterborough on New Year's Eve.
Nicky Bailey is one player who could miss out, having picked up an injury against the Posh.
At the Riverside earlier this season, everything Boro created seemed to come through the enigmatic Emnes.
This is the 60th competitive meeting. Middlesbrough have won 26 of the previous 59, Blackpool 18, with 15 drawn.
Middlesbrough have won only two of their last 15 league visits to Blackpool over 64 years.
Middlesbrough last beat the Seasiders 1-0 at Bloomfield Road in March 1987, in the old Third Division.
Saturday's 3-0 reverse at Birmingham, was Blackpool's first loss in five league outings. Now they must avoid their first back-to-back defeats in 11 league games.
The Seasiders have only gained one home victory against a current top-half club, and are hoping to stretch their unbeaten home league run to five games (W2, D2).
They have started a new year on a winning note once in the last six.
Middlesbrough are on a five-match unbeaten league run, one place and two points off the pace. They are eyeing a return to top spot, which they held for a week in mid-September.
The Teesside club are aiming to win three successive away league games. They have only lost to Southampton and Nottingham Forest on their Championship travels this season.
'Boro have not started a new year with maximum points since 2007.
FA Cup 3rd Round - Away at Fleetwood next Saturday.
Date:Monday January 2 2012
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