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Blackpool vs Blackburn predictions: Little to split Lancashire duo
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Aidan Perkins
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Michael Appleton's Blackpool will hope to see off Blackburn on Wednesday
Michael Appleton's Blackpool will hope to see off Blackburn on Wednesday

Only a point separates Blackpool and Blackburn going into Wednesday's Lancashire derby, with their contrasting runs to this point making for a fascinating mid-table Championship clash.

Blackburn got their campaign off to a blistering start with three wins on the trot, though the bubble burst very quickly in back-to-back 3-0 losses at Reading and Sheffield United within four days of each other. 

The home defeat to Stoke that followed means that Rovers have fallen away from the early season summit and sit down in eighth place. 

The Tangerines, too, reversed their initial fortunes —though in their case for the better. 

Following the summer exit of manager Neil Critchley, who brought the club out of the third tier and consolidated with a 16th-placed finish last time around, new boss Michael Appleton has overseen a mixed start. 

Having edged out Reading on the opening day, Blackpool succumbed to three consecutive defeats without scoring — including a Carabao Cup elimination at the hands of League Two side Barrow — before a 1-0 triumph at QPR arrested the slump. 

Two 3-3 draws on the bounce, the first involving a fightback from a two-goal deficit at promotion hopefuls Burnley, represents an upturn in form and a step in the right direction for the Bloomfield Road outfit. 

Team news

The Seasiders are contending with a long list of injuries — Keshi Anderson, Luke Garbutt, Jake Beesley, Charlie Patino and Lewis Fiorini are all out of contention. 

Rhys Williams may be absent in defence after being forced off during the draw with Bristol City last time out and Sonny Carey is suspended after his late red card versus Burnley.

A goal from the bench against the Robins may mean a start for Theo Corbeanu, though the efforts of Josh Bowler and Jerry Yates in the same game may be enough to keep him among the substitutes as Gary Madine leads the line. 

For Blackburn, Scott Wharton and Callum Brittain will not feature — they are joined on the injury list by Sammy Szmodics, the Irish attacking midfielder having been taken off just 20 minutes into the defeat against Stoke. 

On-loan Liverpool man Tyler Morton is aiming to keep his midfield place, while Joe Rankin-Costello is expected to shore up the defensive right, as Ashley Phillips joins Daniel Ayala in the centre of the back four. 

Bradley Dack started for the first time in the Championship this term against the Potters, while Sam Gallagher, Tyrhys Dolan, Ryan Hedges and Jack Vale are all pushing to be in the XI. 

The stats

Most alarming for Rovers is their recent lack of goals. After finding the net six times in their first three league games, the Ewood Park side's drought has gone on for just as long. 

Perhaps fortunately for Jon Dahl Tomasson, Blackpool have conceded nine goals already — only Hull, Middlesbrough and Swansea, all on 10, have shipped more.

Jon Dahl Tomasson started well as Blackburn boss but results have since dipped
Jon Dahl Tomasson started well as Blackburn boss but results have since dipped

The home side's strength, however, lies in their ability to create chances despite seeing relatively little of the ball. 

The Seasiders enjoyed only 41% of the possession against Bristol City, and as little as 29% against Burnley the week before, yet managed three goals in each match. 

Prediction

With all the signs pointing to a tight affair, Blackburn's recent bluntness in the box suggests a low-scoring Blackpool win seems the most likely outcome. 

The belief instilled by a return to form could potentially give Appleton's men the boost they need to show more defensive nous and edge out their Lancashire rivals.

Tags

BlackpoolBlackburnChampionship
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