Tight Affair Between Tangerines & Cardiff
Blackpool v Cardiff
Blackpool entertain Cardiff at Bloomfield Road on Friday night with the hosts desperately in need of a first win of the season in their attempts to get off the foot of the Championship table.
The Tangerines picked up only their third point of what has been a dreadful start to the season on Tuesday night away to Middlesbrough when Ishamel Miller equalized Daniel Ayala’s opener before half time and neither side could add to their tally. Despite their winless Championship run now stretching to ten games, Blackpool’s results have actually marginally improved with all three of their points coming in the last five games, after they lost each of their opening five. They’re the lowest scorers in the division too, and have struck only five goals in their ten games with former Aston Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso the only person to score more than once.
Cardiff also drew 1-1 on Tuesday night at Brighton when Bruno’s goal after 20 minutes for the hosts was cancelled out by Kenwyne Jones just a minute later. The Bluebirds have struggled lately following a good start to the season, with only one win in their past seven games, but have still earned a respectable 13 points from ten Championship games and lie just five points off the playoff places going into the weekend’s action.
His midweek goal was a fifth of the season for Jones, their top scorer this season.
Jose Riga could hand debuts to Andre Blackman and Formose Mendy having signed the duo last week, but looks likely to stick with the same lineup that earned a share of the spoils at the Riverside on Tuesday following a decent performance on Tyneside.
Midfielder Craig Noone is a doubt for Cardiff with an abdominal problem but is the only serious injury concern for the visitors who have a full squad to select from otherwise. New arrival Ravel Morrison could be in line for a first start since signing on loan from West Ham after two appearances from the bench to date. Former Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade is expected to be named as the replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club’s new boss sooner rather than later but will probably have to wait for the next game to implement his own team selections.
Head to Head
Cardiff won both games between the clubs in their successful promotion campaign of 2012/13 on their way to the Championship title when the pair last met.
Blackpool haven’t beaten the Bluebirds on their own patch since 2002, when both were playing in the third tier of English football, with three of the last five meetings ending 1-1.
The Tangerines did win the biggest ever clash between the two though when they ran out 3-2 winners in the playoff final at Wembley in May 2010.
After an awful start to the season and a poor recent record in the fixture, it’s little surprise to see the hosts as big 12/5 outsiders to claim their first victory at the eleventh attempt with Cardiff marginally better than evens at 21/20 and 23/10 about a draw, with the stalemate offering most appeal.
Jones is a worthy favourite in the first goalscorer market at 4/1 while 5/4 is a decent anytime price too. With goals looking to be at a premium Under 2.5 going in seems the best punt of the lot especially with that being the case in four of Blackpool’s last five games, and can be backed at 10/11.