Fitness and availability
Goalkeeper Kelle Roos confirmed on social media that he will be returning to Derby County following a successful four-game run as Argyle’s temporary number one. At the time of writing, Argyle are without a registered professional goalkeeper who is fit but the expectation is that Remi Matthews will return to Home Park in time for the game. Argyle’s long-term injury concerns remain midfielders Jamie Ness and Antoni Sarcevic, the former of which has not seen action for almost three months and the latter of whom has been plagued by on-off niggles all season. Argyle are bolstered however by no recurrences to Oscar Threlkeld and Ryan Taylor’s injuries following their returns to the side.
Blackpool could be without winger Viv Solomon-Otabor, on loan for the season from Birmingham and who has generally been judged to have been a hit with their fanbase. He missed their Boxing Day game against Scunthorpe due to what has been described as a ‘disciplinary matter’. Their only current injury is the long-term problem with midfielder Jim McAllister who has missed most of 2017 due to a tibia fracture.
Argyle will not want to make too many changes from the side that has had not only two victories but two impressive performances against Oldham and Milton Keynes. All of the players have performed well on individual levels to some degree and there are no obvious candidates waiting in the wings to oust them, Remi Matthews for Kelle Roos appears the only likely change.
(4-3-3) Matthews, Threlkeld, Edwards, Bradley, Sawyer, Songo’o, Fox, Diagouraga, Lameiras, Carey, Taylor.
Over the past few matches, Blackpool have tended to start with two or even one up front alone away from home but have gone for a 4-3-3 system in home matches to really take the game to the opposition. Their last game against Scunthorpe started badly so an unchanged team seems unlikely and there is always the chance that the substitutes Spearing and Quigley who after coming on helped to pull a goal back and turned the balance of play in Blackpool’s favour could have a role to play.
(4-3-3) Williams, Mellor, Tilt, Robertson, Daniel, Spearing, Menga, Longstaff, Philliskirk, Quigley, Gnanduillett.
Head to Head.
The last six meetings between Blackpool have seen three Blackpool wins at Home Park in addition to two Argyle wins and a home win at Bloomfield Road. This seems to be a fixture where the away side appear to have the advantage, solidified by the last game before this six being a Blackpool win at Home Park. These are of course due to individual circumstances rather than any great individual narrative but we football fans love our glimmers of hope to cling to. The last two encounters at Home Park in 2017 have seen Argyle not just beaten but well beaten by Gary Bowyer’s side who have become an effective possession based side who play to each other’s strengths. Renewed in recent form, can Adams’ Argyle make it third time lucky as the calendar year draws to a close?
29th November 2008- Argyle 1-2 Blackpool
4th April 2009- Blackpool 0-1 Argyle
17th October 2009- Blackpool 2-0 Argyle
27th March 2010- Argyle 0-2 Blackpool
30th August 2016- Blackpool 0-1 Argyle
7th March 2017- Argyle 0-3 Blackpool
12th September 2017- Argyle 1-3 Blackpool.
Argyle are in a rich vein of form at the moment, producing what is easily play-off form over the past twelve games since the arrival (amongst other things) of Toumani Diagouraga. Blackpool, on the other hand, are plummeting with just one point out of their last four and look in danger of being sucked into the relegation dogfight. Indeed, a win on Saturday would see Argyle overtake their hosts- and that’s what I think will happen. 2-1 to the Greens.