Blackpool to defend 46-year record against Bolton Wanderers with Neil Critchley prediction

Blackpool host Bolton Wanderers at Bloomfield Road which hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the Trottes.
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Blackpool hope to preserve a 46-year record when they host Bolton Wanderers at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, admits head coach Neil Critchley.

The Seasiders host automatic promotion chasing Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon having already claimed a win against them this season. The two sides met in the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy and after a goalless draw, they won on penalties thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell.

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Bolton Wanderers have not won an away game against Blackpool since December 27, 1977. Neil Whatmore scored a brace for Bolton that day and since then they have not won on Blackpool soil.

Addressing the run, Critchley said: "As a head coach I am always wary of those stats because if it was the other way round I'd be looking at that as a chance to break that cycle if you like.

"I'd see that as a challenge and I'm always wary of the fact that will end at some point but we can draw positives from our home record this season.

"It's got the makings of a special game at home with a great atmosphere. Two really good teams that will go and try and win the game."

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Blackpool's last league victory against them came in February 2020 in what was their first game since Simon Grayson's sacking. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored a 90th minute winner that day after Kean Bryan had cancelled out Connor Ronan's opener.

Bolton have visited Bloomfield Road 14 times since their last victory at the venue and have suffered eight defeats and drawn six times. Their home matches against them haven't been a problem though and in November, Bolton got the better of Blackpool.

Former Seasiders academy midfielder George Thomason scored the only goal with the visitors denied a penalty for an apparent handball after James Husband's header was blocked.

Reflecting on the previous meeting Critchley said: "I say it was fine margins, it was a really good strike from George Thomason from outside the box that decided the game.

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"We felt we had a stonewall penalty on the day as well that went against us and that's the fine margins. There's been little between the two teams in both games that we have played as the next game goes to penalties.

"It might be a decision or a moment of quality that decides the game tomorrow hopefully that will be in our favour."

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