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Blackpool vs Reading: Match Preview 2023/24

This afternoon’s clash between the two relegated sides could be a memorable one.

Wycombe Wanderers v Blackpool - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Reading will be looking to secure their third win in a row this afternoon as they travel to Lancashire to face Blackpool.

Securing a valuable 2-1 win against Bolton Wanderers last weekend, they followed it up with an astonishing 9-0 away win against Exeter City in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday evening.

A similar scoreline doesn’t seem likely today but the Royals will be wanting to pick up another three points in their quest to get out of the relegation zone.

Today’s assignment against Neil Critchley’s side won’t be an easy one - but can they come away with at least a point? That remains to be seen.

Here’s your match preview.

What? League One Matchday 8

Season? 2023/24

Who? Blackpool

Where? Bloomfield Road

When? Saturday 23rd September

Time? 3pm

Opposition Manager? Neil Critchley

The Royals

It’s difficult to be too excited at the moment due to the off-field situation, but the Exeter City win was a boost and it was a real pleasure to watch them on Tuesday evening.

The way they attacked relentlessly was so good to see and the fact they didn’t take their foot off the gas has to be commended. Those who played should be very proud of themselves and they have certainly given Ruben Selles a selection headache ahead of this game.

We can’t afford to have a week like the Millwall/Port Vale one though. We need to back up a cup win with a point or three on the road.

The Opponents

The Seasiders have made an average start to the campaign but their 2-1 win against Wigan Athletic earlier this month reinforces the fact they can be a dangerous side.

Unbeaten at home so far this term, they will be keen to keep that record going and will fancy their chances of doing so against a Reading side that haven’t won an away game in the league this calendar year.

In terms of their transfer business, their summer window could be seen as a positive one with plenty of talented players including Oliver Norburn and Matthew Pennington coming in.

However, they will miss Jerry Yates who sealed a summer move to Swansea City.

They know they can win today’s match without him though.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Button, Mola, Abbey, Bindon, Yiadom, Savage, Hutchinson, Azeez, Elliott, Ehibhatiomhan, Ballard

David Button starts between the sticks and the back four from the Bolton game remains unchanged, with Clinton Mola, Nelson Abbey, Tyler Bindon and Andy Yiadom starting alongside each other.

The back four didn’t do anything wrong against Exeter - but they weren’t tested really.

In midfield, it’s tempting to put Michael Craig in the middle but Sam Hutchinson is a good, experienced option to have alongside Charlie Savage, who shone last weekend.

There’s one change out wide with Ben Elliott coming in for Harvey Knibbs. Elliott was exceptional both last Saturday and at St James’ Park and deserves a place in the first 11 because of that.

Caylan Vickers is another player who deserves another starting opportunity - but Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan is a crucial member of this team as a big presence and Dom Ballard scored a brace in midweek.

Score Prediction: Blackpool 1-1 Reading

Other League One Fixtures

Bolton Wanderers vs Peterborough United

Bristol Rovers vs Wigan Athletic

Burton Albion vs Fleetwood Town

Cambridge United vs Port Vale

Carlisle United vs Derby County

Charlton Athletic vs Wycombe Wanderers

Cheltenham Town vs Stevenage

Leyton Orient vs Shrewsbury Town

Northampton Town vs Barnsley

Oxford United vs Exeter City

Portsmouth vs Lincoln City

All games get underway at 3pm