Blackpool v Plymouth Argyle AS IT HAPPENED: Updates from Bloomfield Road

Blackpool will be looking to cement their spot in the League One play-offs when they take on Plymouth Argyle at Bloomfield Road this afternoon.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th March 2021, 5:07 pm
The Seasiders have avoided defeat in their last 14 games at Bloomfield Road

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LIVE: Blackpool v Plymouth Argyle

Last updated: Saturday, 27 March, 2021, 15:24

  • FT: Blackpool 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
  • Seasiders looking to cement their place in the League One play-offs
  • Neil Critchley’s side unbeaten in their last 10 games, unbeaten at home since October
  • Jerry Yates a slight doubt, seven others injured and Dan Ballard away on international duty

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 against Plymouth Argyle.

Follow the blog for regular updates throughout the day.

The Seasiders will be looking to cement their spot in the League One play-offs after climbing into the top six for the first time this season following their 3-1 midweek win over Peterborough United.

That victory extended Blackpool’s unbeaten run to 10 games, a record no other third tier side has bettered this season.

It also meant Neil Critchley’s side remained unbeaten at Bloomfield Road since October 20, a run that extends to 14 games in all competitions.

As for Plymouth, they sit 16th in the table. Their 2-0 win against Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers last week brought an end to their five-game losing streak.

The Seasiders remain depleted by injuries, a situation that could have even worsened following their midweek win against Peterborough.

Jerry Yates, who scored twice on Tuesday night, suffered a dead leg during that game and is now a slight doubt, although the knock isn’t thought to be too serious.

Pool’s top scorer would be a major miss at any point in the campaign, but especially now when Neil Critchley is already without eight key first-team players.

Dan Ballard is away on international duty with Northern Ireland and Marvin Ekpiteta, James Husband, Kevin Stewart, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine are all injured.

While Critchley says there’s an “outside chance” of one or two of those players returning to fitness in time for today’s game, he said he wouldn’t count on it.

As for Plymouth, top striker Luke Jephcott has been ruled available despite featuring for Wales’ Under-21s yesterday afternoon against the Republic of Ireland. If he’s not fit to start, former Seasider Ryan Hardie could feature.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“The players are in good spirits, it’s a happy training ground at the moment, but we’ve just got to make sure there’s no complacency, we keep our feet firmly on the ground like we have done all season.

“There’s a humility about this group and it’s really important we don’t lose that. That’s why we’ve been on a good run.

“Moving up into the top six, it cements that feeling in your own mind that this is what we’re capable of.

“I genuinely think we’ve had that feeling for quite a while, I certainly have in this group of players because I see a lot of games in this division and the other teams playing and you can’t help but compare yourselves to the other teams.

“When we play well and when we’re at our best, there’s nothing that I’ve seen we can’t compete with.

“It’s just confirming in our minds that yes, we can compete with anyone in this division and we’ve proven that in some of the big games against the top teams in this division, because we’ve taken points off them.

“But as quickly as you can move up the division, you can move down as well, so getting to sixth place means nothing at this point in time because we’ve not achieved anything.”

Ryan Lowe’s pre-match comments

“We know what Blackpool are about. They’re well-drilled, well-organised, they’re well-coached. We know it’s going to be a tough game going there, but it’s one we’re relishing.

“It will probably be a different game to the one where we faced them at our place on the opening day of the season because they’ve got some different personnel.

“They’ve got some different lads around the back and some loan players, but they played a lot more football earlier on in the season and they go from back to front a little bit quicker than what they did.

“That’s fine, that’s their way how they do it. They look to get on top of you, win second balls and get in your face. But they also look to play when they can.

“Critch was new into the job and still getting to know his players, while we largely had the same group from the season before.

“We’re expecting a tough game either way. Whether it’s a footballing game, a ball from back to front game, we know we’re in for a bit of a battle and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for it.”

Here’s the Plymouth side

There were doubts over the fitness of top goalscorer Jerry Yates coming into today’s game after the striker suffered a dead leg during Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Peterborough United.

But the 24-year-old, who netted a brace during that game, is ruled fit as Neil Critchley names an unchanged side.

That means Marvin Ekpiteta, James Husband, Kevin Stewart, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine all remain injured, while Dan Ballard is still away on international duty with Northern Ireland.

There is space on the bench for youngsters Cameron Antwi, Rob Apter and Ewan Bange, but Bez Lubala is still nowhere to be seen.

As for Plymouth, they name former Seasiders Will Aimson and Ryan Hardie in their starting XI as Ryan Lowe makes two changes to the side that beat Bristol Rovers last week, ending a run of five straight defeats.

Still missing a raft of players

And kick-off is just moments away.

Can the Seasiders claim a third straight win to cement their spot in the League One play-offs? 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.

12 - GOAL PLYMOUTH (0-1)

21 - Hardie comes close again

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