Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton predicts Simon Grayson's Blackpool line-up ahead of derby clash
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton predicted the Blackpool line-up ahead of Saturday's derby clash at Bloomfield Road.
Barton has some thinking to do about his own team, with a fully-fit squad available, and he wants to see what the Seasiders are made of.
The Town boss even went as far as to name a potential starting 11 for the hosts.
Barton said: “We go there this year with a good football team. We’re a good side. We’ll see what they’ve got about them.
"There’s not much that separates us in the league. I know they’ve played a few more games than us (seventh-placed Town are ahead of their neighbours on goal difference and have played two fewer matches).
“They’ll probably be 5-3-2. I expect big (Armand) Gnanduillet to play, probably Sullay Kaikai off him, maybe (Joe) Nuttall if he (injury doubt Gnanduillet) doesn’t quite make it.
“(Matty) Virtue, (Jay) Spearing, probably (Nathan) Delfouneso. Then a back five of (Calum) McDonald, (James) Husband – who we know really well and will definitely look forward to seeing Hubby again – and then (Ben) Heneghan, (Ryan) Edwards and (Liam) Feeney.
“It’s a side that’s a very competitive League One outfit. Simon (Grayson) has got them really well organised.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for this football club to go there and show our qualities as a team."
Barton will be looking to draw on experiences from last season, when he led Fleetwood to their only competitive victory over the Seasiders, 3-2 at Highbury.
The Cod Army head coach also saw what victory meant to the Blackpool fans as their side snatched a last-minute winner in the return fixture.
Barton added: “We had the experience of beating them at our place last year. I thought we were comfortably the more efficient outfit."
“There were a few things we experimented with (at Bloomfield Road) and conceded a last- minute goal, which I think was very unfortunate.
“It prompted scenes of wild jubilation for Blackpool fans. I think they were running on the pitch.
“For a set of fans that don’t consider us a legitimate derby for them - I think they consider Preston as their derby - it was nice to see the release of that kind of excessive emotion because of what it meant to beat a patched-up Fleetwood side."