BLACKPOOL v NEWCASTLE UNITED
Saturday 23rd April 2011 – Kickoff 3pm
Blackpool’s season has nosedived to new depths as they now currently occupy one of the relegation places and the situation has now reached critical. They host Newcastle United who contained Manchester United in midweek effectively and sit in mid-table comfort.
Blackpool will attack from the off as is their way, and 25 home goals is a better return than most of the teams around them in the bottom half of the league, but they are also suspect at the back as I will cover off in a minute.
Blackpool have lost their last three home matches 1-3 to Chelsea, Arsenal & Wigan respectively, whilst conceding 3 goals in five of their last seven at Bloomfield Road.
The Seasiders’ home record stands at 4-3-9 25/33 and whilst scoring goals has not been a problem, they have conceded too many for manager Ian Holloway’s liking I’m sure. In 11 of their 16 home matches they’ve conceded two goals or more which is a telling statistic and one that has landed them in their current plight.
Their scoring options stem from forward DJ Campbell (10 goals), Charlie Adam (9 goals), along with Gary Taylor-Fletcher & Luke Varney (both with 5 goals), while Adam has also chipped in with 6 assists.
Newcastle United showed they can defend as well as attack in the week when they hosted leaders Manchester United at St James Park, holding them to a 0-0 draw and for the most part containing the likes of Rooney and Hernandez to desperate penalty claims.
The Magpies have lost their last two on the road but that point against United has taken them to that 40 point mark which almost certainly assures Alan Pardew’s men of their Premiership safety for another season.
Their away form is steady at 5-3-8 12/24, although they would have liked to have scored more goals on the road. On that point, however, skipper Kevin Nolan returns to the side following suspension and will boost their attacking power as he’s chipped in with 12 goals already. Striker Lovenkrands also looked dangerous against United and he can expect better service from the flanks against a weaker Blackpool defensive unit.
With cash to spend in the summer following the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, Pardew has challenged his players to prove their worth in order to be retained at St James Park.
The Verdict: Blackpool will be pressing for all three points at home but possess a weak and frail defence and this will provide Newcastle with chances as well. Both teams to score in this match.
Main Pick: Both teams to score @ 1.59 with Betfair – add it to your multi.