Blackpool v Fulham

27 August 2010 11:16
Blackpool's Ian Evatt is available again after missing the Carling Cup match with MK Dons through suspension.But the Seasiders are again without the injured quintet of Louis Almond, Billy Clarke, Jason Euell, Paul Rachubka and Keith Southern.

Fulham manager Mark Hughes may hand a start to Moussa Dembele after his impressive display against Port Vale.

Fellow newcomer Rafik Halliche could be involved, but goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is still not fit enough to return.



Blackpool

Doubtful: Euell (knee)

Injured: Almond (shoulder), Clarke, Euell, Rachubka & Southern (all knee)

Fulham

Injured: A Johnson (knee), Kamara (foot), Senderos (Achilles), Schwarzer (back)



MATCH PREVIEW George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law graced the field the last time top-flight football was played at Bloomfield Road back in 1971. Now Blackpool are back in the big time, the race has been on to ensure they have a stadium fit to host the stars of today.

My priority is to bring enough players here to give us half a chance to get enough points by January so we don't go mad in the market again and we keep our Premier League status Blackpool boss Ian Holloway Building work was frantic to ensure the new East stand was ready for this fixture and the club were forced to issue a plea for fans to turn up to a Lancashire Senior Cup tie with Morecambe on Wednesday to ensure the stand got its safety certificate in time.

The Seasiders' season is shaping up to resemble one of the rollercoasters on the town's famous Pleasure Beach. After the euphoric high of the opening day win over Wigan they crashed back down to earth and shipped 10 goals in two games to Arsenal and MK Dons.

In contrast, Fulham's start under Mark Hughes has been steady and, after rescuing a point against Manchester United, they hammered Port Vale 6-0 in the Carling Cup.

Hughes has been busy in the transfer market and the club's left-back position is the cause of much speculation as Paul Konchesky looks likely to join Liverpool, with PSV Eindhoven's Carlos Salcido his replacement. But the answer may prove to be home grown given the performance against Vale from Matthew Briggs, who still holds the record for the Premier League's youngest-ever player.

MATCH FACTS Head-to-head

• Fulham have won six of their last seven league meetings with Blackpool. Fulham won on their last trip to Blackpool, back in October 1998, when Geoff Horsfield was on target in a 3-2 win.

• Blackpool have won only one of their last six home games against Fulham.

• The overall record between the sides in all competitions is 40 wins for Blackpool, 34 for Fulham and 29 draws.



Have your say on this match Blackpool

• This is their first top-flight match at Bloomfield Road in 39 years, since drawing 1-1 with Manchester United in May 1971. George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law all played in the match for Manchester United - Law scoring their only goal.

• Blackpool are unbeaten in their last nine home games.

• The Seasiders' first three games of the season have produced 17 goals.

Fulham

• Fulham manager Mark Hughes scored at Bloomfield Road in Chelsea's 4-1 League Cup second-round win against Blackpool in September 1996.

• The Cottagers have failed to win any of their last 19 Premier League away matches and they have only scored once in their last 10 away games in the league.

• Since the start of 2008/09 season, Fulham have lost more games (five) to newly-promoted sides in the Premier League than they have won (four).

• Mark Hughes has drawn 10 of his last 13 Premier League games as manager.



LEADING GOALSCORERS

Blackpool

Harewood: 2 goals (2 league)



Fulham

Zamora: 2 goals (0 league); Gera: 2 goals (0 league)



MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistant referees: Stuart Burt & Mick McDonough

Fourth official: Andre Marriner



LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Blackpool (L0-6 v Arsenal, a): Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Sylvestre (Keinan 37), Vaughan, Adam, Grandin, Harewood (Ormerod 57), Taylor-Fletcher (Demontagnac 57). Subs not used: Halstead, Eardley, Basham, Edwards.

Fulham (D2-2 v Man Utd, h): Stockdale, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy (Greening 81), Etuhu, Davies (Gera 90), Dempsey (Dembele 61), Zamora. Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Baird, Riise.

Source: BBC_Sport