Ian Holloway's side welcome Chris Hughton's team in the first leg of their play-off tie, Willie Duncan expects the Tangerines to take a first leg lead and has an 8/1 value betFor the neutral, it is difficult to beat the excitement generated by the English Championship play-offs. For players, officials and fans of the clubs involved, though, it provides a nerve-shredding finale to the campaign.
Both Blackpool and Birmingham City suffered the agony of relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season but for one of the sides, an instant return to the top flight could be on the cards.
Ian Holloway's side have home advantage for the first leg and the Tangerines are chalked up at 7/5 (2.40) with Sportingbet to make that count.
Chris Hughton's side will have other ideas and the Blues are available at 15/8 (2.88) with Sportingbet to carry the lead into next Wednesday's return leg with victory at Bloomfield Road while the same firm rates the draw as a 9/4 (3.25) chance.
Just one point seperated these two sides over the course of a 46 match league campaign and they might prove difficult to split again here.
Nevertheless, Blackpool will hope to take a lead into the second leg of this tie and there are plenty of appealing prices in Sportingbet's correct score market. The offer of 71 (8.0) on a 1-0 home win while the same firm offer a chunky 10/1 (11.0) on a 2-0 win for Friday's hosts.
However, the Blues have hardly been shot shy this season and Chris Hughton will fancy his side's chances of scoring here so the 8/1 (9.0) for a 2-1 win looks like an excellent value selection while the chunky 18/1 (19.0) quote from Sportingbet for the first leg to end 3-1 to Blackpool is tempting.
Birmingham have had extra matches to play because of their Europa camapaign and Blackpool's strength in depth should show through.
Both of these teams have plenty of quality but Ian Holloway's side have the experience to make home advantage count and they should be supported at Sportingbet's juicy 7/5 (2.40) quote to grab the initiative here.
Bet of the Day
|Blackpool to beat Birmingham City at 7/5 (2.40) with Sportingbet
||Blackpool to win 2-1 at 8/1 (9.0) with Sportingbet
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter