Blackpool v Peterborough United AS IT HAPPENED: Updates from Bloomfield Road
Blackpool take on high-flying Peterborough United tonight knowing a win will take them into the League One play-offs for the first time this season.
Follow our live blog for regular updates...
LIVE: Blackpool v Peterborough United
Last updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2021, 19:12
- FT: Blackpool 3-1 Peterborough United
- Seasiders will move into play-offs for the first time this season with a victory
- Neil Critchley’s side unbeaten in their last nine games, but drawn last four home encounters
- Second-placed Posh can move level on points with league leaders Hull City
- Pool facing another injury crisis - seven key first-teamers sidelined
And welcome to today’s live blog, where we’ll bring you all the build-up, team news and action from Blackpool’s League One encounter with Peterborough United.
Follow the blog for regular updates throughout the night.
Blackpool will move into the League One play-offs for the first time this season if they’re able to beat Peterborough United tonight.
The Seasiders, who are unbeaten in their last nine games, climbed into the top 10 for the first time since the second game of the season following their 2-0 win against Oxford United on Saturday.
While Neil Critchley’s side have won four on the bounce away from home, they’ve played out draws in their last four home games. Nevertheless, Pool remain unbeaten at Bloomfield Road since October 20.
Posh also have a big incentive to win tonight as three points will take them level on points with leaders Hull City with a game in hand still to play.
Darren Ferguson’s side, who were beaten 2-1 by Blackpool at London Road earlier in the season, only their second home defeat of the campaign, played out a 3-3 draw with lowly Rochdale at the weekend.
The Seasiders’ impressive recent form has been all the more impressive given it’s come in the midst of another injury crisis.
Neil Critchley’s side could be boosted by the return of Daniel Gretarsson (above), who has been missing since the start of January with a hamstring injury.
His return is a timely one as Blackpool are already missing James Husband and Marvin Ekpiteta in the centre of defence, while Dan Ballard is now away on international duty with Northern Ireland.
Should Gretarsson be considered fit enough to start, he’s likely to partner Jordan Thorniley - unless Critchley opts to change formation or play full-back Ollie Turton in the centre.
Elsewhere, Matty Virtue becomes the latest player to miss out having injured his knee during Saturday’s win at Oxford. He joins Husband, Ekpiteta, Kevin Stewart, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine on the sidelines.
Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments
“You’ve only got to look at the attacking players they’ve got in their team to know they are very dangerous. They can hurt you.
“Their front three are arguably the most dangerous and best front three in the division.
“They’ve got some experience in the team, they’ve got a good way of playing and they’re tough to beat.
“They’ve got an experienced manager, they’re well coached and have a clear idea of how they want to play.
“If you want to beat them, you have to perform extremely well both in possession and out of possession.”
Darren Ferguson’s pre-match comments
“We’ve got 11 games to go and we know where we stand in the league. We’ve been very good and now we just have to finish it off.
“We take each game in isolation. We want three points against Blackpool and then we’ll move onto the next one.
“They’re a good team, they showed that against us in the game at our place, albeit it was a long time ago.
“They’re on a good run, they’ve won their last four away games and drawn their last four home games, they’ve only conceded five goals in 12 games, so they’re well-organised.
“No matter what stage of the season it is or how teams are doing in terms of league standings, Blackpool away is always a tough game and this won’t be any different.
“We have to be positive and take the game to them and make sure we get everything out of their players.”
Team news coming soon...what will Critchley do in defence?
The teams are in
Here’s the Posh side
With Dan Ballard now away on international duty and Matty Virtue sidelined with a knee injury, the Seasiders were forced into making two changes to their side.
Ollie Turton was the man to get the nod at centre-back, moving over from right-back to partner Jordan Thorniley - the pair becoming Pool’s ninth different centre-back partnership of the season.
Jordan Gabriel came back into the side at right-back, while Demetri Mitchell replaced Virtue, starting on the right flank and Grant Ward coming into central midfield.
Daniel Gretarsson returned from a two-and-a-half month lay-off to be named on the subs’ bench, alongside youngsters Cameron Antwi, Rop Apter and Brad Holmes.
Along with Virtue, Marvin Ekpiteta, James Husband, Kevin Stewart, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine are all sidelined.
Despite all the absences, there was still no spot for Bez Lubala in Blackpool’s 18-man squad, despite the winger being fit and available.
Peterborough, who knew they could go level on points with league leaders Hull City with a win, named an unchanged side from their 3-3 draw against lowly Rochdale on Saturday.
The teams are out
And kick-off is just moments away.
Can the Seasiders climb into the play-offs for the first time this season? We’ll soon find out...
Up the mighty Pool!
After both sets of players take the knee, Blackpool’s Kenny Dougall gets the game started.