Blackpool begin their Championship preparations at Southport this afternoon

Blackpool return to action today, 41 days on from their Wembley triumph.

Saturday, 10th July 2021, 8:00 am

Neil Critchley’s men head to Haig Avenue to take on National League North side Southport in the first of their pre-season friendlies.

It will be Blackpool’s first outing since they overcame Lincoln City 2-1 at the end of May to secure their return to the Championship, ending a six-year absence.

The Seasiders’ fitness work ahead of the new campaign began on Thursday, July 1, while full training didn’t begin until the start of this week.

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While a developmental side took on Squires Gate at the Brian Addison Stadium last night, today’s trip to Merseyside will be the first chance for supporters to see the senior team back in action.

It will also provide the first opportunity for fans to get a glimpse of the club’s seven new signings: Reece James, Daniel Grimshaw, Shayne Lavery, Josh Bowler, Callum Connolly, Oliver Casey and Sonny Carey.

After today’s game against the Sandgrounders, Pool take on Newport County in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday, July 17 during the club’s training camp.

Games against Carlisle United, Burnley and Morecambe follow the friendly against Rangers, which takes place at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday, July 21.

This first meeting between the teams since 2011 will kick off at 7pm. Ticket information and streaming details will be confirmed in due course.

A Blackpool XI side will also take on Bamber Bridge at the end of July.

Blackpool’s league campaign starts on Saturday, August 7 with a trip to Bristol City. The club’s first home league game back in the Championship is against Cardiff City a week later.

Between those games, Pool are likely to host fellow second tier side Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup.

The date for this tie is yet to be finalised and clubs can agree to move their first round games to the week before the league season begins.

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