West Bromwich Albion vs Blackpool preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Matt Clarke and Gary Madine compete for the ball - Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion will be aiming to add some consistency to their recent home form as they take on Blackpool at The Hawthorns.

The Seasiders will also be looking to end their bad run, being winless in their last four and scoring only two goals in that patch.

Both teams will have games on Friday and Monday as part of the usual EFL Championship Easter weekend of fixtures.

  • Team news

Winger Matt Phillips will return to the bench for Steve Bruce's side after recovering from his recent setback.

The former Blackpool man made 102 appearances for the club and has been missing since the Baggies' away defeat to Millwall in January with a foot injury.

David Button will also return for Albion in place of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who Bruce is resigned to leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Like Phillips, the former Brighton and Hove Albion, Brentford and Fulham shot-stopper hasn't made an appearance since the Millwall loss but is set to challenge Alex Palmer for the number one spot following Johnstone's departure.

Dara O'Shea should also be in contention for a start following Kyle Bartley's disappointing display against Stoke City last time out.

For Neil Critchley's men, Chelsea loanee Dujon Sterling is set to undergo rehabilitation with his parent club after suffering ankle ligament damage.

Elsewhere, full-back Luke Garbutt is fit but hasn't trained all week so is unlikely to feature in this one.

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  • Predicted lineups

West Bromwich Albion:


(3-5-2) Button, Clarke, O'Shea, Ajayi, Townsend, Livermore, Molumby, Gardner-Hickman, Furlong, Grant, Carroll

Blackpool:
 

(4-4-2) Maxwell, Husband, Ekpiteta, Thorniley, Graham, Anderson, Dougall, Connolly, Hamilton, Lavery, Madine

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  • Form guide

Both teams have slipped up some way since their early-season play-off form.

Blackpool are aiming to pick up their first win in five with a victory in the Midlands but face a tall task having not won there since 1964.

The Tangerines have defended well throughout their first season back in the second tier, but ultimately their lack of a creative spark has cost them being able to progress out of that lower mid-table bracket.

Keshi Anderson and Kenneth Dougall top the Seasiders' assists chart with four goals set up each, but Critchley's outfit sit 23rd in the league for chances created.

As for the Baggies, their fluctuation in form has left many perplexed following two consecutive home victories over Fulham and AFC Bournemouth.

However, their inability to pick up points in-between against sides such as Birmingham City, Bristol City and Stoke means they sit 12th in the league.

And whilst Bruce's future remains up in the air, he must continue to find those missing pieces before the season's end.

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  • Ones to watch

Andy Carroll

From a tactical perspective, Carroll creates a real conundrum when it comes to Albion's set-up.

In their last game against the Potters, they failed to play to their strengths in the way they did when up against Bournemouth.

Their persistence in keeping the ball along the floor when a target man such as Carroll starts up-front was baffling and after winning the most aerial duels in a Championship match this season in that game - Bruce has to play to his strengths.

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Marvin Ekpiteta

Ekpiteta is a perfect example of the typical journeyman, signing for the Seasiders in 2020 from Leyton Orient after a career in non-league.

The centre-back is to face a huge physical challenge in marking Carroll and will have to go back-to-basics to keep the former Newcastle United, Liverpool and West Ham United forward at bay.

His consistency has been vital in keeping those small margins in games and has been lauded praise from supporters.

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  • How to watch & kick-off time

Coverage will be available for those in the UK and Ireland via WBATV and iFollow. Kick-off is set for 15:00 BST on Friday, April 14.

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