Premier League Preview: Blackpool - Blackburn Rovers

Seaside fairytale
The fairytale story of this season, Ian Holloway's Blackpool, take on Sam Allardyce's Blackburn Rovers at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

Since their epic play-off final triumph over Cardiff City, the Seasiders have caused quite a few shocks in the Premier League.

Tipped to be league whipping boys, the Tangerines have claimed three points off both Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic away from home, gaining wide acclaim for their attacking style of play, illustrated by the fact that they have scored three goals from outside the area this season - more than any other Premier League side.

The match against Blackburn is only the second game at Bloomfield Road this season due to the fact that the ground wasn't ready for Premier League use until the 2-2 draw against Mark Hughes' Fulham side.

The results factory

In their last match, Blackburn welcomed former manager Mark Hughes with an uncompromising atmosphere and some law-bending tactics on the part of El-Hadji Diouf.

Diouf was at the centre of controversy regarding a suspected foul on the Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in the build up to the opening goal. As the ball came over, Diouf appeared to run straight into Schwarzer, knocking him onto the floor and allowing Chris Samba to head the ball in for a simple goal.

That wasn't the only furore that surrounded Rovers this week as manager Sam Allardyce made some interesting claims. The former Bolton Wanderers manager said that he would be "more suited to Inter Milan or Real Madrid", sparking intense debate and wide ridicule.

Allardyce's tactics have come in for yet more criticism following the incident with Diouf at the weekend, but the former Newcastle boss continues to get results in the Premier League with his brand of football.

Ewood Park is now a difficult place to travel to again, following the less than successful spell of Paul Ince, with Blackburn boasting a never-say-die attitude and a solid defensive line.



The Seasiders will be without defender Alex Baptiste for six weeks after it was confirmed he would undergo exploratory surgery on an old knee injury.

After a long and drawn out work-permit process, Ghanaian World Cup star Richard Kingson looks likely to be available for Ian Holloway at the weekend, but the former Wigan 'keeper will face tough competition for a starting place due to the current form of number one Matt Gilks.

After admitting his side were "absolutely useless in the first half" against champions Chelsea, Holloway looks set to drop the previously untested 4-1-4-1 formation and revert back to the attacking 4-3-3 that has served them so well.

Possible starting XI: Gilks; Eardley, Keinan, Evatt, Crainey; Adam, Grandin, Vaughan; Campbell, Harewood, Varney.

Blackburn Rovers

After overcoming recent thigh and foot injuries, Michel Salgado and Ryan Nelsen look to have regained full fitness and should start for Allardyce's side.

Meanwhile, after a substitute appearance in their last Premier League game and a start in the midweek League Cup defeat to Aston Villa, former Manchester City striker Benjani could be in line for a place in the starting XI, but the Zimbabwean striker will face competition from on-loan Mame Biram Diouf and Nikola Kalinic.

Possible starting XI: Robinson; Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet; El-Hadji Diouf, N'Zonzi, Jones, Grella, Pedersen; Kalinic.

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