Swansea City v Blackpool: Team news, predicted line-up and pre-match quotes from Neil Critchley

Blackpool’s Championship campaign gets back up and running this weekend with a long trip to South Wales to face Swansea City.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 1:25 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 1:26 pm

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Due to the international break, the Seasiders haven’t played since their pulsating 1-1 draw with QPR on Saturday, November 6.

The result left Neil Critchley’s side well situated in the table, where they sit 10th and just one point adrift of the play-off spots.

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Pool have been in top form since the start of September, winning seven of their last 12 games.

But they face a Swansea side that are also in good nick, with four wins to their name from their last six outings.

Under new boss Russell Martin, the Swans have won their last four on the spin on home turf and haven’t been beaten at the Swansea.com Stadium since the opening month of the campaign.

Nevertheless, they’re currently two points behind Blackpool in the table in 12th and three points off the top six.

The Seasiders take on Russell Martin's side tomorrow

Team news

There’s mixed news on the injury front for Blackpool ahead of their return to action this weekend.

Chris Maxwell (torn quad) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring) are both back in training and are nearing a return to first-team action.

Richard Keogh (calf) is also not too far off, but tomorrow’s game in South Wales could come too soon for him. If he doesn’t feature against Swansea, the defender should be fit to return next week.

Elsewhere, Oliver Casey suffered ankle ligament damage during Blackpool’s Lancashire Senior Cup outing against Everton, while Luke Garbutt is looking at weeks, rather than days on the sidelines with medial ligament damage.

Kevin Stewart has been given another setback in his recovery from an ankle injury, but there’s better news regarding CJ Hamilton after the winger’s scoring return from injury during the Everton game last week.

Hamilton is feeling much better after his second foot operation and could be considered for this weekend’s encounter.

Daniel Gretarsson and Kenny Dougall should be available following their international exploits for Iceland and Australia respectively.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“They’re very good at home, very strong. They’ve only lost one and have conceded very few goals,” Pool’s head coach said.

“They have a unique way of playing and they’re very, very good at it, so we know we’re in for a tough task.

“They’ve beaten good teams at home recently and we know it will be tough away from home on Saturday, so we’ll have to be at our very best to give them some problems that’s for certain.”

Critchley added: “Swansea have got players more than capable of playing Russell’s way and they played good football under Steve Cooper too.

“Russell takes it to the next level though, so it becomes a really extreme way of playing, but they do it very well and they’ve got good players.

“You’ve only got to look at their squad to see they’ve got good players right across the pitch.

“He recruits players that fit into his way of playing and they do it very well. I really enjoy watching them play, but hopefully I won’t enjoy watching them too much on Saturday.

“But I think it’s a fantastic way of playing and it makes you really think as a coach about how you can gain an advantage playing against them. It makes me think and it makes me a better coach.

“I’m looking forward to coming up against a different type of test that you don’t normally play against in this division, because the way they play is unique.”

Opposition view

“I think our home form has been fantastic,” manager Russell Martin said.

“We haven't been here for three weeks but we really enjoy being in front of our home supporters.

“Blackpool are really good at what they do and are really well coached. I've got a lot of respect for them and a lot of time for their manager and staff.”

Pool’s predicted line-up (442): Grimshaw, Gabriel, Ekpiteta, Gretarsson, Husband, Dougall, Wintle, Bowler, Anderson, Yates, Madine

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