Football – England – Championship
Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Blackpool take on perennial Championship strugglers Barnsley at Bloomfield Road on Saturday afternoon in what is curiously a very similar situation to their Lancashire rivals, Blackburn Rovers in what is an almost identical fixture.
Recent results have not been good for Blackpool with defeats against Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic both away from home and a 1-2 defeat to league leaders Cardiff City weenkend before last, as their ambitions of a play-off place seem to be fading.
However, an encouraging 2-1 win at Wolves last weekend gives them some momentum going into this match and against a Barnsley side who have won just once in their last eight away matches, Blackpool will fancy their chances in recording back-to-back Championship wins for the first time since the beginning of the season back in August.
Blackpool’s home record stands at 4-6-4 25/19 and too many shared points in previous matches has cost them valuable ground on the Championship ladder with stalemates against Nottingham Forest, Brighton, Bolton, Watford, Birmingham City and Hull City, but the positive is that these have been good results and they must win today to make them count.
As mentioned, Barnsley’s sole win in their last eight away matches was a 2-1 win at Millwall back in December with recent defeats by Hull City, Derby County, Watford and most disappointingly, Peterborough United on New Years Day contributing to their poor run of form again on the road.
Barnsley’s away record stands at 3-3-8 17/25 and it’s clear where their Achilles heel is; defence. Away from home, Barnsley have conceded in all but two of their last thirty four away matches and this statistic alone must set the hosts up with a fantastic opportunity to get their season back on track.
If this trend continues, it’s hard to see The Tykes escaping again this term from relegation into League One, but they’ve done it before and will fight on until the end of the season. Blackpool on home turf though have usually been a strong outfit and I can see them turning their season around here today against a poor-travelling Barnsley team. Blackpool to win 2-1.
Pick: Blackpool straight win @ 1.71 Pinnacle