By Bulldog Drummond
Well, my famed analysis of home and away form to give a prediction of the result didn’t work out against Palace, where everything pointed to another Arsenal win. But I like to take a broader approach to things, and just because that prediction went wrong it doesn’t mean I am going to ditch the whole approach.
Blackpool are in League One – and are constantly linked with controversy over their owners and their disputes with the fans. I won’t go into that as you can read it elsewhere and I’ve got no particular new insights or bits of information that the media isn’t publishing anyway.
So instead here’s the league table for our visitors… in 12th place with one or two games in hand over the clubs just above.
If we look at the away form only, they would be in 16th place, with just one away win this season, four draws and one defeat, five scored and five conceded. So defensive and low scoring seems to be the order of the day. Perhaps we can expect a back ten.
In the league table above we can see Coventry City in seventh, a team that played our under 21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, which we won easily. So all things considered it should not be too hard, and we might expect a number of younger players to mix with the first team squad who have not had that many games of late. Maybe a return of Jenkinson? Maybe a first run out for Monreal since his injury? Certainly a place for Elneny. Smith Rowe too I would hope.
Blackpool went through an excellent 13 match unbeaten run which ended at the start of this month, but since then have had a couple of defeats. Here are their last ten games…
|08 Sep 2018||Blackpool v Bradford City||W||3-2||League One|
|15 Sep 2018||Plymouth Argyle v Blackpool||W||0-1||League One|
|22 Sep 2018||Blackpool v Luton Town||D||0-0||League One|
|25 Sep 2018||Blackpool v Queens Park Rangers||W||2-0||League Cup|
|29 Sep 2018||Peterborough United v Blackpool||D||2-2||League One|
|06 Oct 2018||Blackpool v Rochdale||D||2-2||League One|
|09 Oct 2018||Blackpool v West Bromwich||L||1-2||League Trophy|
|20 Oct 2018||Blackpool v AFC Wimbledon||W||2-0||League One|
|23 Oct 2018||Blackpool v Scunthorpe United||W||1-0||League One|
|27 Oct 2018||Fleetwood Town v Blackpool||L||3-2||League One|
So even though this now includes a couple of defeats there are still five out of ten wins. One of the defeats was to WBA in the Trophy and the other against Fleetwood, the local rivals (24 miles straight north/south along the Irish Sea coast).
That was, in fact, the first time ever in the entire history of history that Fleetwood had beaten Blackpool – although to be fair it was only the sixth time they had played each other, Fleetwood being only recently arrived in the League.
To get to this round of the League Cup Blackpool have beaten Barnsley (League One), Doncaster (League One) and QPR (Championship) so we’re the first Premier Club for them to play.
|14 Aug 2018||Blackpool v Barnsley||W||3-1||League Cup 1|
|28 Aug 2018||Doncaster Rovers v Blackpool||W||1-2||League Cup 2|
|25 Sep 2018||Blackpool v QPR||W||2-0||League Cup 3|
In 2010/11 Blackpool did appear in the Premier League for one season but then sank back to the lower reaches. By 2016/17 they were in the fourth tier and returned from there by coming 7th and winning through, in the play offs.
This is the first time they have got through to the 4th round of the League Cup since 2007/8. The last time they made it to the fifth round was 1972/3.
But we should remember that in our first Double Season (1970/1 for younger Arsenal supporters) we played Blackpool in the First Division. They had three managers that season, and went back down to the Second Division.
Yet from 1937/8 through to 1966/7 they were in the First Division, and in 1955/6 were runners’ up. Their most famous player was of course Stanley Matthews, and a few of us of the particularly older variety still remember seeing him play at Highbury.
We’ll have a look at the head to head next time around, and then of course the team we could be putting out (which as always in these games is a hard call to make).
There will be plenty of space in the stadium, with tickets just £10 downstairs and £20 upstairs, and (for this competition only) concession prices both for the under 16s and those old enough to remember who on earth Stanley Matthews actually was.
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