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

It’s a quick turnaround for the Seasiders as they return to action at Bloomfield Road tonight after their weekend draw against Swansea City.

By Matt Scrafton
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:28 am

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Neil Critchley’s men take on a West Bromwich Albion side that sit in third place in the Championship table.

Valerien Ismael’s side have stalled a little in recent weeks though and slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Saturday - their fourth straight away loss on the spin.

In fact, the Baggies haven’t tasted success on the road since September.

A win for the Seasiders, meanwhile, would close the gap on the Championship play-offs, which currently stands at three points.

Team news

Richard Keogh is unlikely to be fit.

West Brom boss Valerien Ismael

It was hoped the defender would return to training this week and possibly feature against the Baggies, despite missing the weekend draw against Swansea City.

But head coach Neil Critchley revealed the 35-year-old, who is nursing a calf strain, still has some work to do.

Elsewhere, the Seasiders are likely to have a similar pool of players to choose from as they did for Saturday’s 1-1 draw in South Wales.

Chris Maxwell (torn quad) and CJ Hamilton (foot) are both close to making a return, but the likes of Luke Garbutt (knee), Kevin Stewart (ankle), Matty Virtue (ACL) and Grant Ward (achilles) all remain sidelined.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“It’s a great prospect.

“I was only driving in on Monday morning and thinking back to less than 12 months ago in January when we played them in the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road with no supporters.

“They were in the Premier League at the time and we were in League One. Less than 12 months later we’re meeting them in a competitive league game, so things can change very quickly in football.

“We’re under no illusions to how difficult the game is, we’ve watched them play so we know how good they are.

“I’ve watched them numerous times this season and they’re a good team with very good players.

“Just coming out of the Premier League, they will have aspirations of going straight back up.

“They’ve got a big squad of players and physically they’re very good. It’s a tough game but what a great challenge.

“Under the lights on a Tuesday night, hopefully it will be a great atmosphere and similar to the Stoke and QPR games, it’s great to have big clubs coming to our place and it’s up to us to put on a good performance.”

Opposition view

“It’s all about finding a killer instinct now,” Valerien Ismael said.

“To get the rewards and start the game when you score a goal and even when the opponents score a goal we have the ability to score a goal at any time.

“I think it’s all about making the right decisions and being less hectic in some situations. We want to score and we need at that point to find a calm on the ball.

“That is the big difference with the goal scorer. We had the spirit to score. It’s in the last third where we are working, this at the minute if the big difference between us and the two other top teams. We need to finish the job.

“It’s about being less hectic in the last decision making and massive desire to score and then this is what we need to work on for the next game and it’s my expectation that the massive frustration we’ve got will be transferred into a massive desire to score goals.”

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

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