Neil Critchley's men make their Championship bow at Ashton Gate this weekend

Keogh or Ekpiteta? Bowler to get the nod on the wing? Our predicted line-up for Blackpool's league opener against Bristol City

The time is almost here for Blackpool to finally make their Championship return.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 10:21 am

After a six-year absence, the Seasiders will once again line up in the second tier of English football after clinching promotion via the League One play-offs back in May.

Neil Critchley’s men get the 2021/22 campaign underway at Ashton Gate against Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City.

But how are they likely to line-up?

Daniel Gretarsson and Gary Madine are making good progress on their return from surgery, but this weekend is likely to come too soon.

Elsewhere, midfielder Matty Virtue is a longer-term absence after injuring his ACL.

Kenny Dougall is also back in training, but will he be thrust straight back into the starting XI having had little to no game time in pre-season?

Kevin Stewart and Demetri Mitchell must be considered doubts, too, having recently suffered knocks in Blackpool’s pre-season friendlies.

Here’s our predicted line-up:

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