Blackpool return to action tomorrow to face promotion-chasing Portsmouth in a tough test at Fratton Park.
The Seasiders sit eight points behind the play-off places with 25 games played, the least in the whole division, while Pompey are currently fourth, just five points off league leaders Lincoln City.
The hosts come into the match on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers and just two victories in their last six league matches. They will be without manager Kenny Jacket too, who is recovering after an operation so won't be in attendance on Saturday.
Blackpool will be without Marvin Ekpiteta, with the centre-half picking up a hamstring injury in Tuesday’s victory over Rochdale. Ekpiteta, who had previously started every league match for Blackpool this season, is due to have a scan to reveal the full extent of the injury.
Gary Madine could return to the squad. The striker hasn’t featured in the last three league matches with a groin injury but is reportedly close to a return. Long term absentees CJ Hamilton, Dan Gretarsson and Keshi Anderson remain sidelined but on-loan centre-back Dan Ballard is available for selection and is expected to replace Ekpiteta in the centre of defence.
Portsmouth will still be without goalkeeper Alex Bass and winger Michael Jacobs through injury, but otherwise have a clean bill of health.
Portsmouth (442): MacGillivray; Johnson, Bolton, Raggett, Daniels; Harness, Taylor, Cannon, Curtis; Marquis, Harrison.
Blackpool (442): Maxwell; Gabriel, Ballard, Thorniley, Husband; Virtue, Stewart, Dougall, Kaikai: Yates, Simms.
Ones to watch
There is no doubt who Portsmouth’s main man is.
Striker John Marquis joined Pompey in the summer of 2019 from Doncaster Rovers and has since netted 20 league goals, 12 of which coming this season already. In the prime of his career at 28, Marquis’ presence and clinical nature in attack causes fear across League One defences and will no doubt test Blackpool’s resolute defensive form.
Winger Sullay Kaikai is arguably Blackpool’s most talented attacking player. His quick feet, dangerous set pieces and clever link up play can cause trouble for any League One defence. It’s been a pretty inconsistent season for Kaikai though, as injuries and patchy form have hampered his progress. However, he looked much sharper in last weeks defeat to Ipswich and he seemed back to his brilliant best in Tuesday’s victory over Rochdale as he scored the winning goal. Manager Neil Critchley will be hoping Kaikai can find consistency and continue his strong form.
The reverse fixture at Bloomfield Road ended in a 1-0 victory for Blackpool with midfielder Keshi Anderson scoring the winner after a slick counter attack from the Seasiders. Blackpool were also victorious in the last league meeting between the two sides at Fratton Park, as a late strike from Chris Long secured an impressive 1-0 victory in 2019.
Last time out...
Where to watch on TV
The match will be available to watch on iFollow. Match passes for the game are available, priced at £10. Kick off 3pm at Fratton Park.