SCOUT'S REPORT: BLACKPOOL
Club News28th September
Cardiff City host fellow promotion hopefuls Blackpool on Saturday afternoon, with both sides looking to avenge recent defeats.
Ian Holloway's Seasiders have had a strong start to the 2012/13 season and could have gone top of the table ahead of their Monday night home clash with Huddersfield Town.
But it was the Yorkshire side that took advantage of a tight Championship summit with an incisive 3-1 victory at Bloomfield Road. It is they who now sit second ahead of this weekend's ties thanks to goals from Lee Novak, James Vaughan and Oliver Norwood eclipsing that scored by Gary Taylor-Fletcher for the hosts.
So the men from the West-Lancashire coastline find themselves fourth as it stands - level on points with Cardiff City who are below them only on goal difference in seventh. Things haven't gone well on the road for Blackpool this season though; they've drawn at Barnsley and lost at Leicester on the back of an opening day 2-0 victory at Millwall.
Blackpool arguably possess one of the strongest squads in the entire division. Undoubtedly still buoyed by parachute payments on the back of their 2010/11 Premier League foray, Ian Holloway has a squad at his disposal full of precocious, confident young talent.
Thomas Ince - son of former Manchester United and England legend, Paul - has been making many a Championship headline since scoring Blackpool's equalising goal against West Ham United in last May's Wembley Play-Off Final. He's scored six goals in eight appearances with six assists to boot so far this term - eclipsing, at this stage, the abilities of the equally able and dangerous Matty Phillips.
Aston Villa loanee Nathan Delfouneso scored twice on his debut against Middlesbrough recently, while there's plenty of attacking verve in midfield in the shape of Tiago Gomes. The veteran captain Barry Ferguson, ever-dependable Ian Evatt and Scottish international Matt Gilks form the backbone of what looks a very sturdy side on paper. And then, of course, there's the evergreen Kevin Phillips waiting in the wings.
City and Blackpool have faced each other 67 times to date, with Blackpool victorious in 33 of those to City's 14.
But since the Seasiders returned to the second tier in 2007, it's Cardiff who edge out their counterparts with 3 wins to their 2 and 4 games drawn.
Last Meeting: Cardiff City 1-3 Blackpool (04/02/12)
The Bluebirds spurned the chance of a rare win at Bloomfield Road last season, drawing 1-1 after dominating a very one-sided game. In the return fixture back in February it was Blackpool who came out on top - goals from Kevin Phillips and two from Matty Phillips in the last eleven minutes of play countering Joe Mason's fifty-ninth minute opener for the Bluebirds.
Teams from last meeting:
Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton (Blake 77), Taylor, Gerrard, Turner, Whittingham, Cowie, Conway, Gunnarsson, Ralls (Mason 46), Miller (Gestede 86). Subs not used: Heaton, Harris.
Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Cathcart, Baptiste, Wilson, Ferguson, Basham, Phillips.M, Fleck (Phillips.K), Taylor-Fletcher (Eardley 89), Dicko (Bednar 66). Subs not used: Ince, Lua-Lua.