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

Blackpool head to Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day looking to make it back-to-back wins in the Championship.

By Matt Scrafton
Saturday, 25th December 2021, 8:00 am

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Neil Critchley’s side got back to winning ways last weekend with a crucial 3-1 win over Peterborough United at Bloomfield Road.

The Seasiders had previously endured a seven-game winless run having also failed to score in their last four outings.

But the win against Posh lifted them back up to 13th in the table, where they sit on 30 points at the halfway stage in the season.

Sunday’s opponents Huddersfield sit three places and three points above them in the league table.

The Terriers, who were 3-0 winners at Bloomfield Road back in September, beat Bristol City 3-2 away from home last weekend having drawn two and lost two of their previous four games.

Jeremy Simpson, who officiated Blackpool’s 3-2 win against Reading in October, will take charge of this weekend’s game.

The Seasiders make the trip to the John Smith's Stadium on Boxing Day

Blackpool have sold out the away end and 2,300 Seasiders will make the trip over the Pennines.

Team news

Richard Keogh could come back into contention after recovering from Covid-19.

The defender missed last weekend’s 3-1 win against Peterborough United after recording a positive test.

But due to a relaxation in restrictions, Keogh will now only need to self-isolate for seven days rather than the previous 10.

This means the 35-year-old could be available for Sunday’s clash against the Terriers, who he briefly played for last season.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Neil Critchley confirmed another player had tested positive this week but was unable to reveal who that player was.

Luke Garbutt will miss out through a non Covid-related illness, while Chris Maxwell (quad), Matty Virtue (ACL), Kevin Stewart (ankle) and Grant Ward (achilles) all remain sidelined.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“I hope it will be a good game.

“I’ve been really impressed with Huddersfield from what I’ve seen of them this season.

“They’re a really well-coached team, they have a clear identity with and without the ball and they’re a difficult team to play against, especially at home.

“That win for them away from home last week will have given them a lift, we’ve had a lift as well so it has the makings of a good game.

“There was not a lot in our game at home. The scoreline will suggest otherwise but there wasn’t, it was just a crazy 10 minutes for us.

“There’s not a lot between the teams in terms of points, so I’d expect it to be a close game - as most of the games in this division are.

“We’re looking forward to going there and giving a really good account of ourselves in front of what should be a good atmosphere.”

Opposition view

“We're in a special moment of the year because in England you can't talk about Christmas without talking about football,” boss Carlos Corberan said.

“It's one of the nice things about England, it's part of what families do.

“If we didn't have that game, we would miss it a lot, so some sacrifices are going to be necessary. That's why we're going to train the day before the game.

“We're going to try to find a balance, but we know we are lucky to have this commitment.

“One of Blackpool's key areas is that they keep one style. They had a positive start to the season and won at the weekend, but hadn't been in a good run of results before then.

“We need to concentrate on ourselves, but I see a lot of similarities to the game we played against them in September.”

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

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