Michael Appleton's Blackpool will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing midweek result when they host Swansea City at Bloomfield Road. The Swans themselves lost in midweek and are still looking for their maiden win of the season.
Throughout the week, Blackpool have been rocked by two transfer stories. The first of which involving experienced centre-back Richard Keogh, with the 35-year-old securing a move to League One Ipswich Town. The second of which involved Shayne Lavery, the forward who scored eight goals in his first season for the club following his move from Northern Ireland. The club are believed to have turned down a move from another Championship club for his services.
Appleton has no injury worries to contend with. Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino made his first start for the club against Barrow and impressed so he will be looking for a start in this one. Midfielder Kevin Stewart remains a long term absentee. Lavery and Theo Corbeanu are on standby to replace striker Gary Madine, who went off injured after their defeat to Stoke City last Saturday.
Russell Martin will be very disappointed with his side after throwing away a two-goal lead against Oxford United only to go on and lose on penalties in midweek. Martin admitted he is happy to give Joe Allen his first start of the season. Ben Cabango also played the full 90 minutes in midweek and is ready to play whilst Allen came on from the bench. Cabango will be a welcome return in defence with the Swans shipping three at home to Blackburn Rovers last weekend. Martin said:
“Both Joe Allen and Ben Cabango are ready to start.
“They recovered from Tuesday and joined in training today. They’re both ready to play now."
Martin went on to say winger Jamie Paterson was rested in midweek after picking up a knock, and will be assessed the day before the game before deciding whether to select him. Jordan Garrick and Kyle Joseph have both this week left the club on loan, joining Lincoln City and Oxford United respectively.
Blackpool (4-3-3): Maxwell (C); Connolly, Ekpiteta, Thorniley, Rhys Williams; Carey, Patino, Virtue; Bowler, Lavery, Yates.
Swansea (4-4-1-1): Fisher; Naughton, Latibeaudiare, Darling, Manning; Paterson, Grimes (C), Fulton, Ntcham; Piroe; Obafemi.
The winger signed from Everton last summer and has proven to be an instant hit at Bloomfield Road. He scored eight goals in all competitions in his first season at the club to help the Tangerines to Championship safety. He is a lively winger, typically playing on the wing of a front three, and he makes things happen but it's his end product that some supporters have issues with. We are still very early into the season but his shooting accuracy of 40% after his first two games leaves a lot to be desired. He hit the woodwork in the opening day victory over Reading, but if he can improve on his shooting and get into double figures this season, alongside goals from the likes of Jerry Yates and Gary Madine, then the Tangerines should have no issues with making sure their 23/24 season will be spent in the Championship.
Obafemi is key if the Swans are to kick on from their poor 15th placed finish last season. Like Bowler, Obafemi needs to add more goals to his game if Swansea are to improve this time around, after scoring 12 last campaign. Joel Piroe's 22 goals last season proves that if Obafemi can become as prolific, and combined with goals from midfield from the likes of Jay Fulton and Jamie Paterson and the strength of the squad overall, then there is no reason the Swans can't improve on last seasons poor showing. A bit more defensive solidity is vital too. If these problems can be sorted, then there is no reason the Swans cannot challenge the top six places.
Swansea haven't won any of the last nine times they have faced Blackpool, with their last victory coming in a 3-2 victory in League One back in October 2005.
Where is the game being played?
What time is kick off?
The game will kick off at 15:00 (BST) on Saturday August 13.
How can I watch?
The game is unavailable to watch in the UK and Ireland. However, audio packages are available on local radio and via a match pass on their clubs website. Fans outside the UK and Ireland can usually watch via their clubs website.