Blackpool v Burnley: Team news and quotes from Neil Critchley as Seasiders welcome Premier League neighbours to Bloomfield Road
Blackpool’s pre-season preparations go up a notch tonight with the visit of top flight side Burnley.
The Seasiders’ Lancashire rivals make the short trip across the county for the club’s penultimate friendly, which kicks off at 7.45pm.
Neil Critchley is hopeful of having one or two bodies back available to him, after being without a host of first-teamers for Saturday’s 1-0 win against Carlisle United.
In total, 16 players were absent at Brunton Park at the weekend, the majority of those as a result of the club’s recent Covid outbreak.
The likes of Daniel Gretarsson (shoulder), Matty Virtue (ACL) and Gary Madine (groin), meanwhile, are out injured. It’s hoped Gretarsson and Madine should be available soon though.
Critchley is looking forward to tonight’s test against Premier League opposition, a game that is likely to differ from the weekend’s win against Carlisle where the Seasiders dominated possession.
“It’s a game I think we’ll be ready for,” Pool’s head coach told The Gazette.
“It will be a different test from Carlisle on Saturday. We’ve lost one game with the Rangers game going, we haven’t got many games to go so we’ll see how the players recover from the game at the weekend.
“Keshi took a bit of a knock in the first-half, he got a bit of whack to his quad so we’ll just have to assess him to see how he is.
“But we’ll be ready to go again. We might get a few players back for what will be a different test, but it’s a Premier League side, a fairly local one and hopefully they bring some supporters and our supporters come out, this nice weather can continue and we can all look forward to a great evening.”
Tonight’s game will be Blackpool’s one and only pre-season friendly of the summer to be housed at Bloomfield Road.
Critchley’s men were due to take on Scottish giants Rangers last Wednesday, but that game had to be scrapped as a result of the club’s Covid outbreak.
After taking on Burnley, the Seasiders make the trip to Morecambe on Saturday for their final friendly before their league curtain raiser at Bristol City on Saturday, August 7.
As for the Clarets, they’re continuing to prepare for their Premier League opener against Brighton & Hove Albion on August 14.
Sean Dyche’s side, who are gearing up for their sixth consecutive season in the top flight, will be without the likes of Chris Wood, who is currently in action for New Zealand at the Olympics.
Nick Pope is also unlikely to feature, having had an operation on his knee earlier in the summer which left him out of England’s Euro 2020 squad.
Matej Vyrda is also due to join the squad late following his involvement at the Euros with Czech Republic, while Kevin Long and Dale Stephens are out injured.
Despite the absences, Burnley were still able to name a strong side against Oldham Athletic at the weekend, as they ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and youngster Lewis Richardson.
Fielding two separate sides in either half, the Turf Moor outfit also handed game time to the likes of James Tarkowsky, Dright McNeil and Ashley Barnes.
Burnley have already beaten Morecambe 2-1 and Salford City 4-0 during pre-season.
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