Lincoln City v Blackpool AS IT HAPPENED: Updates from Sincil Bank
It's fifth vs sixth today as Blackpool take on promotion rivals Lincoln City in a crunch encounter at Sincil Bank.
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LIVE: Lincoln City v Blackpool
Last updated: Saturday, 10 April, 2021, 15:18
- FT: Lincoln City 2-2 Blackpool
- Seasiders looking to claim sixth straight away win
- Match-up between 5th and 6th in League One
And welcome to today’s live blog, where we’ll bring you build-up, team news and action from Blackpool’s pivotal clash against promotion rivals Lincoln City.
Follow the blog for regular updates throughout the day.
Fifth-placed Blackpool take on sixth-placed Lincoln City as the promotion rivals meet in a crunch clash at Sincil Bank this afternoon.
The two sides are in contrasting form though. Neil Critchley’s men are the league’s form side this minute and are in the midst of a 13-game unbeaten run.
They’ll also be looking to claim a sixth straight away win today, having beaten Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic, MK Dons, Oxford United and Swindon Town without conceding a goal. In total, they’ve not conceded in eight hours of action away from home.
Lincoln, meanwhile, managed by former Pool man Michael Appleton, have won just two of their last 13 games, a run that has seen them drop away from the automatic promotion picture.
The Imps’ season has been disrupted in the last two weeks by Covid, which forced them to close their training ground for 10 days and postpone their Easter games against MK Dons and Charlton.
The Seasiders have no fresh injury concerns coming into today’s game following their Easter Monday triumph against Gillingham.
Elsewhere, Blackpool’s injury list is now beginning to clear up. While both Matty Virtue (ACL) and CJ Hamilton (metatarsal) are sidelined for the remainder of the season, the Seasiders are hopeful Kevin Stewart (ankle, pictured above), Keshi Anderson (hamstring) and Gary Madine (groin) can play some part between now and the end of the campaign.
It comes after both James Husband and Marvin Ekpiteta returned to Pool’s match-day squad on Monday, although the latter is still not quite up to speed and is unlikely to start.
Bez Lubala remains unavailable due to a ‘club matter’.
Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments
“At some stage during the season teams have had good spells and bad spells. Lincoln have had a bit of a sticky spell recently, the results suggest that, but when I watch them play I just think they have good players, they know what they’re doing, they’re well-coached and have a good manager.
“It’s like when we played Ipswich, they hadn’t been on a good run of form but they went on a good little spell after beating us. I just think Lincoln will win games at some point.
“They’ve had a bit of a sticky spell but they’re still inside the top six and they’re a good team, so we’re going to have to play very well if we want to get anything from the game.
“It does become a little bit more difficult to analyse when they’ve not played recently, they haven’t played now since the Oxford game (on March 26) which will be two weeks ago by the time they play again.
“The teams they pick recently normally give you an indication of the team you might face, but because they haven’t played - they’ve had a two-week reflection period - they might have thought of something different, different personnel might be back, so it is a little bit more difficult to plan for.
“You can only go on their previous games and how they’ve played during the season, but we’re very much trying to concentrate on us and what we’re about and what we’re good at.
“We try to put that on the pitch in every game, regardless of whether we’re playing home or away or who we’re playing against.”
The teams are in
Here’s the Lincoln side
Neil Critchley opts to make just one change to the side that beat Gillingham in convincing fashion on Easter Monday.
Jordan Thorniley is the man to drop out of the team and is replaced by Daniel Gretarsson who comes into central defence alongside Dan Ballard.
Elsewhere, Demetri Mitchell is a surprise absence from Pool’s 18-man squad, with his spot on the bench taken by youth-team striker Brad Holmes.
Kevin Stewart, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine remain sidelined by injury, while Bez Lubala is unavailable due to a ‘club matter’.
Lincoln, who start the day just one point behind the Seasiders in the league table, make three changes to the side that lost 2-1 at Oxford United in their last outing.
After that defeat, the Imps were forced to lock down their training ground for 10 days and postpone their Easter fixtures against Charlton Athletic and MK Dons.
The teams are out
And kick-off is just moments away.
Can the Seasiders secure a sixth straight away victory to cement their place in the League One play-offs? We’ll soon find out.
Up the mighty Pool!
After a two-minute silence for Prince Philip, Blackpool’s Kenny Dougall gets the game started.