Preview: Fleetwood v Blackpool
Saturday 7th January
It feels like the night before Christmas again. The buzz. The anticipation. The expectation. So often Christmas Day disappoints though...
Hopefully that won't be the case tomorrow when Blackpool make the (very!) short trip to non-league neighbours Fleetwood.
Unless you're Karl Oyston, then this game has been pretty much dominated your football agenda since the Cods beat Yeovil in a second round replay, earning them a tie against the tangerines.
It's a weird one though; should the Seasiders win tomorrow, they'll hardly have bragging rights over their neighbours; after all, Fleetwood are three divisions below us. Furthermore, a large part of Fleetwood's fanbase is made up of 'Pool fans (expect away supporters to be found in both ends tomorrow)!
On the other end, should the Cods win, we'd probably never hear the end of it, especially from our other neighbours down the road...
If you're lucky enough to have a ticket for tomorrow, treasure it. If not, then enjoy the game whereever you're watching it. Let's hope that come 5pm we're toasting our safe passage to round four...
Ian Holloway: 'No game we've had this season has been as exciting as this, because of the geography of it and because Fleetwood are doing a fantastic job of climbing up the leagues.'
Karl Oyston: 'I am probably more of a realist than one or two and I can't quite see what the level of excitement is being generated for.
'I've got tickets for Saturday, but I'm passing them on to other members of the family. I'm going to stay away.
'I'll be monitoring the progress from afar, but I think it's more important that people go who really want to go and are excited by it.'
Mickey Mellon: 'We have top players and they will get the opportunity on Saturday to show us how far away they are from operating in the Championship or whether they are good enough already.
'We have to use the weapons we feel we have to punish Blackpool, and we believe 100 per cent that we have a way of getting at them. If we get it right on the day, then we will punish them as well and Ian Holloway will be well aware of that.'
Fleetwood Team News:
Richard Brodie is suspended after being sent off in the 6-0 win over Southport.
Jamie McGuire is available again after suspension.
Player to watch: Jamie Milligan
We always look nervy at set pieces, and although he's not the most mobile of players, ex 'Pool midfielder Milligan nearly always puts his set pieces on a sixpence.
Blackpool Team News:
Barry Ferguson is suspended, whilst Matt Gilks is still injured.
Player to watch: Danny Wilson
Only made the subs bench against Middlesbrough, but if the Liverpool loanee is chosen to make his 'Pool debut tomorrow, it will be some baptism of fire.
Match Facts & Stats
This is only the second competitive match between the teams - 'Pool winning the first 4-0 (FA First Round, 1980).
This is the furthest Fleetwood have ever got in the cup.
The Cods are unbeaten in eleven and have only lost one of the last twenty.
'Pool have lost their last five FA Cup ties, exiting the competition in the third round four seasons in a row.
Away at Ipswich next Saturday.