Lincoln City vs Blackpool preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo: James Chance/GettyImages

Lincoln City welcome Blackpool to the LNER Stadium having not played since 26th March.

The Imps, who are without a win in five, were hit hard by a coronavirus outbreak, which forced postponements of their games against MK Dons and Charlton Athletic. In addition, the club's training ground had to be shut down until as recently as Wednesday evening. 

During that time the Seasiders have leapfrogged their opponents and find themselves well placed for the play-offs following an excellent run of form.

  • Team news

With a whole host of injuries and the aforementioned coronavirus problems, Michael Appleton's team selection is anyones guess.

Appleton has revealed, however, that defender Joe Walsh (above) has returned to training following a calf problem, whilst Max Sanders, who signed in January from Brighton and Hove Albion, is close to full fitness.

The Imps remain without captain Liam Bridcutt, leading goalscorer Jorge Grant and striker Tom Hopper.

The visitors haven't had it easy themselves, meanwhile, and will be without Matty Virtue and CJ Hamilton, who are both out for the season.

Kevin Stewart, Keshi Anderson and Gary Madine are also ruled out through injury too. 

  • Ones to watch

Brennan Johnson will be raring to go for the hosts, buoyed by his call-up to the Wales squad for the recent internationals - and subsequent appearances against Mexico and Czech Republic.

The forward, on loan from Nottingham Forest, will have benefitted from not playing since that win over the Czechs on 30th March, following a hectic schedule for both club and country. 

Blackpool's Jerry Yates will be looking to add to his impressive tally of 20 for the season, which has seen him score six goals in his last four appearances. 

Yates has averaged a goal every 161 minutes so far this term, and has also provided four assists. 

  • What the managers have said

Speaking to the local media, Lincoln boss Michael Appleton said he may have to make some 'strange decisions' regarding team selection based on how each individual has managed their workload following injury and Covid.

"What they're going to be on Saturday in terms of fitness only time will tell," he explained.

"One thing is for sure over the first few games, I'm probably going to have to go at it with a pre-season kind of mentality.

"It might be that we have to use our full quota of subs for the first few games, just to make sure we're in decent shape going into the last five or six games."

Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley, meanwhile, told local reporters that his side will be wary of their play-off rivals despite the Imps' loss of form.

"Lincoln have had a bit of a sticky spell recently - the results suggest that - but when I watch them play I just think they have good players, they know what they're doing, they're well coached and have a good manager," he said.

"They're still in the top six and they're a good team, so we're going to have to play very well if we want to get anything from the game."

  • Predicted lineups


Lincoln City (4-3-3): Palmer; Poole, Jackson, Walsh, Bramall; Anderson, McGrandles, Edun; Johnson, Morton, Rogers.

Blackpool (4-4-2): Maxwell; Garbutt, Turton, Thorniley, Ballard; Embleton, Ward, Dougall, KaiKai; Yates, Simms.

  • Previous meeting

Lincoln emerged victorious at Bloomfield Road back in October thanks to a thrilling last gasp 3-2 win.

Late goals from Jorge Grant (his second of the game) and Lewis Montsma earned the Imps the points, whilst CJ Hamilton and Demetri Mitchell netted for the hosts. Defender James Husband, meanwhile, saw red. 
 

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  • How to watch

The game kicks off at 15:00 BST on Saturday. The game is available on each club’s respective iFollow service, priced at £10 for UK viewers and £7 for international fans.

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