Match Preview: Blackpool vs Wigan Athletic

Paul Thomas

Domestic football in England returns after a long two week break for internationals. While the three lions roared their way to the world cup, most Wigan players where resting and preparing for the next stint of games. Starting with a 12 o'clock kick off against Blackpool.

The seaside. Fond memories of buckets and spades and lots of lovely sand. In the season of 2010/11 Blackpool had returned to the big time under the guidance of Ian Holloway and with an opening day battering of Wigan went onto flourish in the opening half of the season.

The 4-0 result would linger of Wigan fans for many months to come, until we were able to return the favor. As Wigan sprung their climb away from the relegation zone, Blackpool where falling like a stone. An April meeting between the two saw Wigan win 3-1 in a Charles N'Zogbia inspired performance.

That season will always be remembered for the win over West Ham United and the last day heroics at Stoke City. But the game against Blackpool was the momentum we needed to keep our place in the top flight.

This time around the momentum for the winning team will help them to continue a climb towards the top of the Championship. An Ince lead Blackpool team will be tricky customers for a game with a lot resting on it for both sides.

Latics are looking to continue their good run of form had have three back to back wins. While Blackpool are looking to try and get back to winning ways, five games with out a win and they are starting to lose their lofty position they had worked so well on getting in the early stages of the season.

With limited money and resources Paul Ince has managed to pool together a very talented young side with a very strong competitive edge. Its a credit to him as a manager that a team of players has gelled so well so quickly, but they are now being found out.

A lack of a goal scoring threat is costing them dearly with managers son Tom Ince their biggest threat. The young winger was linked with many Premier League teams last season, yet the boy has stayed true to the club that gave him his chance as a professional player and this season he has re-payed them with four goals. That's double of the next highest scorers of Chris Basham and Ricardo Fuller have managed this season.

Fuller joining of a free transfer from fellow Championship club Charlton in the summer, they have a player who has pure attacking class. So far he has only managed to fine the back of the net twice now. Yet it is Fuller's physical attributes that lend him to be a key player for Blackpool. He gives them a player to hit as a target man and to allow other player around him like Stephen Dobbie and Tom Ince to come into the game in the final third.

This is a side full of players that could hurt us as a side, and hopefully we can match them stride for stride.

Only a few players have been away on international duty from Latics (six in total). That means the rest of the squad has had a chance to rest and then prepare for the game this weekend. It would surprise me if players being away affect the squad selection for the weekend.

From the side that faced Blackburn, it is highly likely that Emmerson Boyce and Grant Holt will come into the starting line up, and the side will be somewhere near to full strength minus our long term injuries.

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