Fresh from Saturday’s draw against Fleetwood Town, Blackpool are back at Bloomfield Road this evening as they host the division’s in-form side Burton Albion.
The Seasiders will be looking to gain vital ground on the League One play-off places with a victory which could take them within two points of sixth placed Ipswich Town. Neil Critchley’s men sit in 12th, still with multiple games in hand on the teams above them, and are unbeaten in their last seven league matches. They also haven’t lost at Bloomfield Road since October.
It will be a very tough test though for Blackpool, as they face a revitalised Burton Albion side who have won their last six league matches under new manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Burton, who seemed destined for the drop just a few weeks ago, now sit comfortably in 18th place, seven points above the relegation zone.
The fixture was initially supposed to be played at the start of February, but the match was postponed due to a frozen pitch, much to the anger and disappointment of Blackpool fans.
Blackpool are still likely to be without Gary Madine, who has been missing since January’s 5-0 win over Wigan Athletic. The striker’s recovery has taken much longer than expected, but did return to training last week. Centre-half Dan Gretarsson was also back with the first team last week following a hamstring injury and is edging closer to a return to the squad, though tonight’s match may come just too soon. Marvin Ekpiteta and Keshi Anderson remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
Burton meanwhile have no fresh injury concerns and will have a full squad to choose from, apart from long-term absentee Kieran Wallace.
Blackpool (4-4-2): Maxwell; Gabriel, Ballard, Husband, Garbutt; Mitchell, Virtue, Dougall, Kaikai; Yates, Simms.
Burton (4-2-3-1): Garratt; Brayford, Carter, Mancienne, Hamer; Taylor, Clare; Smith, Edwards, Akins; Hemmings.
Ones to watch
Winger Sullay Kaikai has had an indifferent season for Blackpool. Three goals and four assists is a fairly average return for such a talented player but in recent weeks he has begun to look more like his old self. His sharp wing play, clever touches and smart link-up play has improved of late and he looks increasingly threatening. In a Blackpool team that currently lacks a real spark of creativity, Kaikai can make all the difference if he can return to the top of his game.
Striker Kane Hemmings has been key to Burton’s excellent recent run. With an impressive total of 13 league goals to his name, including a hat-trick last time out in the 3-0 win over Crewe Alexandra, Hemmings provides Burton with a clinical focal point at the top end of the pitch.
Blackpool were victorious in this seasons reverse fixture, with Jerry Yates’ first two goals for the club securing a 2-1 victory at the Pirelli Stadium.
The last meeting at Bloomfield Road came in November 2018, with Blackpool coming away with an impressive 3-0 win.
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 is 7pm at Bloomfield Road.