Stevenage make the 436-mile-round trip to Lancashire this weekend for a big Sky Bet League One clash with Neil Critchley’s Blackpool…
Boro will be aiming for their first ever victory over The Tangerines, with the only two previous meetings between the clubs ending in Blackpool’s favour. It’ll be Stevenage’s first trip to Bloomfield Road since 2017, and the first ever clash between the clubs in the third tier.
Steve Evans’ men will be hungry for another victory in their League One quest after overcoming former Premier League side, Wigan, last weekend at The Lamex Stadium. It was Aaron Pressley’s conversion from the spot early on that turned out to be the difference maker.
Blackpool Football Club have plenty of history to their name, with an FA Cup win in 1953 followed by a second-place finish in the top flight three years later. Astonishingly, the first ever Ballon d’Or was awarded to a Blackpool player by the name of Sir Stanley Matthews, who picked up the award in 1956 at the age of 41. The Tangerines have been in the Premier League as recent as 2011, but only spent the one campaign there.
Today, Blackpool sit tenth in Sky Bet League One after picking up four wins, four draws and three losses so far this campaign. They can be proud of their home form so far, as they have lost just one of their first six home games in the league. The Tangerines have been quite inconsistent as of late though, with their most recent home league clash ending in a 3-1 defeat against Derby County.
The player looking to cause the most problems for Stevenage on Saturday is the experienced Jordan Rhodes. The striker has netted six goals in seven league games this season which includes a hat-trick at home to Reading. The rest of the squad has plenty of Championship experience, so a win for Stevenage this weekend will be no easy task.
Neil Critchley is no stranger to bringing success to Blackpool, having led the club to promotion to The Championship in 2021. A year later, Critchley departed to take up the role of Steven Gerrard’s Assistant head coach at Aston Villa. He then had a brief stint as QPR boss before returning to Lancashire to take over the Tangerines ahead of their first season back in League One.
Blackpool have called Bloomfield Road their permanent home since the 1901/02 campaign when they were playing in the second tier of English Football. The ground’s current capacity is 16,616, with a record attendance of 38,098 being set in 1955 as they welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers in the first tier. Away supporters are typically housed in the East Stand.
Paul Howard has been appointed Match Referee for Saturday’s match, with Conor Brown and Darren Williams as his Assistants, and Michael Barlow as Fourth Official. Howard has dished out twenty-six yellow cards and one red in seven games so far this campaign.