Relegation-threatened Blackpool need points desperately and there is no better time to get them than in their clash with Stoke City on Saturday.
Ian Holloway’s men are hovering above the English Premier League relegation zone in 17th by means of goal difference ahead of Wigan, but finish the season with trips to Manchester United and Tottenham and also host Europe-bound Bolton after their clash at Bloomfield Road on the weekend.
The tough run-in to the end of the season means it is three points on Saturday or bust for Holloway and his plucky Blackpool outfit, which rode their momentum through the English Premier League playoffs last term.
The form guide does not make pleasant reading for Seasiders fans, as their side has secured just eight points from a possible 51 since the New Year.
Stoke, meanwhile, are not short of confidence with an FA Cup final to look forward to and are coming off a 3-0 dismantling of Wolves on Tuesday.
Tony Pulis will almost certainly be missing Matthew Etherington for Saturday’s clash after the winger limped from the field with a hamstring injury in their win over Wolves. He is in doubt for their Wembley date with Manchester City.
Other omissions for Stoke include strike duo Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe (both Achilles), while Danny Higginbotham is a long-term absentee with an ACL injury.
Australia international David Carney continues his spell on the sidelines for Blackpool with a shoulder injury, while scarcely used defender Chris Basham will miss as he continues his recovery from a broken leg.
Blackpool won the reverse fixture 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium in December, with frontman DJ Campbell scoring the winner shortly after half-time.
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