Monday 9th April 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
This fixture looks a fairly straight-forward affair with fifth placed Blackpool entertaining eighteenth placed Barnsley at Bloomfield Road with the home side looking for another three points to cement their play-off position.
We all know though, that in the Championship it’s not always as simple as that but I’ll put forward a few facts that swing this tip in our favour; overall, Blackpool have lost just once in their last five which was at in-form and second placed Reading, while securing good wins over Brighton 3-1, the league leaders Southampton 3-0 and away at Watford 2-0. They also drew 3-3 with Leicester City.
The Seasiders’ home record stands at 11-6-3 36/20, and have lost at home just once in their last thirteen matches. They know how to score goals, particularly at home where they’ve failed to score just twice all season, with only Southampton (44), Peterborough United (38) and Ipswich Town (37) scoring more home goals than them.
On-loan Swansea City forward Stephen Dobbie (4 goals) has burst onto the scene at Blackpool scoring a brace at Watford at the weekend and they also have the likes of Gary Taylor-Fletcher (7 goals, 10 assists) although he was stretchered off at the weekend and is doubtful for the visit of Barnsley. Lomana Lua-Lua should get his chance, and with Thomas Ince (6 goals, 5 assists), Stephen Crainey and Alex Baptiste scoring and creating chances too, Blackpool still possess plenty of attacking depth.
Goals have been hard to come by for the visitors though as Barnsley make the trip to in-form Blackpool; just the one goal in their last seven Championship matches has seen The Tykes remain in the lower half of the division whilst suffering some heavy defeats recently.
0-4 home defeats to Reading and West Ham have been sandwiched by losses against Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town, and a trip to play-off Blackpool can’t be a prospect they are looking forward to.
Barnsley’s away record stands at 4-4-12 16/31, with only Coventry City (11) and Bristol City (15) scoring fewer goals than them on the road. I should also mention that they’ve lost their last seven on the road straight and have scored just 1 goal in this miserable run which came in a 1-2 defeat at Watford.
So, wrapping up, I’ll back the hosts to post what should be a comfortable victory in their quest to remain in play-off contention against a side who really struggle to score goals away from home; I’ll go for either a 2-0 or 3-0 home win here.
Pick: Blackpool AH-1 @ 1.76 Pinnacle