Cardiff City v Blackpool: Team news, predicted line-up and pre-match quotes from Neil Critchley – Blackpool Gazette

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Brett Ormerod on Blackpool's cruel defeat to Bournemouth, growing injury list, Kevn Stewart's return and tricky trip to Cardiff City
Cardiff City closing their stadium due to Storm Eunice – but Blackpool game remains unaffected
Neil Critchley’s side dominated for large swathes against the high-flying Cherries in their last outing, only to concede twice late on to lose 2-1.
It was Blackpool’s first league defeat of 2022 in their sixth game of the New Year.
The result leaves the Seasiders in 15th place in the Championship table, 21 points ahead of the bottom three and eight points adrift of the play-off spots.
This weekend they face an in-form Cardiff side that have won four of their last five games.
Steve Morison’s side, who have otherwise endured a disappointing campaign, claimed an impressive 2-0 win against Coventry City in midweek.
Darren Bond, who last refereed a Blackpool game in 2020 when Blackpool lost 2-0 to Reading in the FA Cup, is the man in charge on Saturday.
Team news
Blackpool received welcome news about the extent of the hamstring injury Marvin Ekpiteta suffered against Bournemouth last week.
The defender hasn’t trained all week but scans revealed the setback isn’t as bad as first feared.
Neil Critchley hasn’t even ruled him out of featuring today, although that seems unlikely.
If Ekpiteta doesn’t feature, that means Oliver Casey could be handed a first league start to partner Jordan Thorniley at centre-back.
Elsewhere, it’s likely to be a similar squad to choose from for Critchley than what he had at his disposal against the Cherries last Saturday.
Chris Maxwell (quad), Richard Keogh (calf), Luke Garbutt (knee), James Husband (hamstring), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), Sonny Carey (metatarsal) and Keshi Anderson (hamstring) are all sidelined.
The Seasiders will come up against their former loanee Ryan Wintle, who has made eight appearances for the Bluebirds since being recalled at the start of January.
Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments
“We know every game is different. Cardiff on Saturday won’t be the same as Bournemouth last Saturday, it will be completely different.
“What we have to show is that champion’s mentality, if you like, that when you get punched you get back up and you go again.
“I’ve got no doubt our players, because they’ve done it during games and after games, will do it again on Saturday.
“Cardiff have had some positive results recently, especially at home where they’ve beaten some good teams like Coventry, Peterborough and Nottingham Forest,” Pool’s head coach said.
“They’re in a good run of form. They beat Barnsley away too and they seem to have found a way that suits them, which is pretty much 5-3-2 with everyone behind the ball and they make things very difficult for teams to break them down. They carry a threat going forwards as well.
“If you look at the game against Coventry the other night, they’re deciding the best way to go is to be compact, be difficult to break down and wait for opportunities to score via a set-piece or a moment in the game.”
Opposition view
“Blackpool are an interesting side,” Steve Morison said.
“They play a 4-4-2 and not many teams do that now. They’ve got their way of playing, but we’ll work on what we are going to do.
“What we then do, once we get the team sheet, is have our final meeting and see what happens then. But I’m sure in every game you will see a distinct idea in what we do.
“The weather might play a part if the wind keeps up. I was told I was going to wake up to the end of the world, but that didn’t quite happen.
The stadium is enclosed, it is what it is, the same for both teams. It won’t be like Peterborough and Reading the other night, that stadium is a lot more open.
“That’s the worst factor in football. Wind is the only thing that ruins everything, training, matches, but we will deal with it accordingly.
“The main thing is that it sorts itself out and everyone gets to the stadium safe and sound.”
Pool’s predicted line-up (442): Grimshaw, Gabriel, Casey, Thorniley, Sterling, Connolly, Dougall, Bowler, Hamilton, Lavery, Madine
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