Blackpool face challenging trip to Lincoln City as the race for League One promotion heats up


Neil Critchley’s 6th placed tangerines head south east to Sincil Bank on Saturday afternoon to face 5th placed Lincoln City, in what could be a decisive matchup for the Play-Off standings.

Blackpool are enjoying an impressive run of 13 games undefeated (eight wins), and can also extend their tally to six consecutive wins on the road with three points.

After 37 games played in League One, one point and one place separates Saturday’s opponents, with Blackpool the superior heading in to the showdown.

Imps boss Michael Appleton will be hoping his side can snap a run of five games without victory, falling to losses against bottom-of-the-table Rochdale and mid-table Oxford United to name a few.

Marvin Ekpiteta and James Husband are back in training for the visitors and could feature in Critchley’s team selection, but Keshi Anderson remains on the sidelines following a hamstring injury sustained in February.

City are back in action after two weeks without football, following a COVID-19 outbreak at the club with saw fixtures against MK Dons and Charlton Athletic postponed and their training facility shut down.

Aiming to kick-off their end to the season with a vital win, Appleton’s side have been handed a huge boost as Joe Walsh and Max Sanders are back in the squad after recovering from calf and hamstring injuries respectively.

“From Joe’s point of view, because he’s been out that long, we’re going to have to manage his minutes over the first two or three games before he becomes available to play a full 90 minutes,” Appleton said.

Star man Jorge Grant and Tom Hopper, who were both expected to miss the remainder of Lincoln’s campaign, are now in contention to make their comebacks in time for the final three league games – beginning against Peterborough United on the 1st May.

“They have [progressed], they’re still a good couple of weeks away from being available,” added Appleton. They could be available for the last few games of the season but I’m not holding out for that.”

Neil Critchley emphasised the visitors must maintain their characteristics that have helped them get to where they are right now, with no room for arrogance or complacency.

“We’ve looked like a good football team in the last few games both in and out of possession, which we’ve worked hard to improve. With the type of people we’ve got in the group, I don’t sense any arrogance, I don’t sense any complacency. It’s important we keep those characteristics in the next few games because the league is so tight, it’s so competitive and there are so many teams fighting for promotion.”

Joe Lyons will be at Sincil Bank for the game that could determine the League One Play-Off spots, and who could have a shot at promotion to England’s second tier next season.

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