Ten years ago, Blackpool were in the Premier League during Ian Holloway’s reign as manager, but they were soon relegated just after a year in the top flight. Their final match in the Premier League was a 4-2 away defeat at Old Trafford against Manchester United on the last day of the season. In the next five years, they fell further down the football pyramid and landed in League Two as they failed to keep up. The last five years have been rewarding for the Seasiders’ fans, not only did they witness a positive change in the ownership but they also saw their side climb back to the Championship after winning the 2021 EFL League One play-off final.
Since their promotion, Blackpool have been adjusting to life in the Championship in an impressive manner. They are placed 11th in the league with six wins, three draws and five losses in 14 games. Blackpool’s highlight win of the season was their 2-0 victory in the Lancashire derby against Preston. The Seasiders have been enjoying a decent run of form as of late, taking five victories in their last seven games. In addition, they remain in contention for the play-off spot as they are level on points with six other teams with 21 points. Their decent run of form also includes away victories against Reading and Middlesbrough. In both of those games, they came from behind and secured three points at the final whistle. Blackpool’s fine form can be attributed to their forwards Jerry Yates and Shane Lavery both of whom have enjoyed an impressive goal-scoring run of seven and five goals respectively, although the latter has missed out on the previous few games through a hamstring injury.
Let’s dive into some stats to gauge Blackpool’s performances from the previous games in the Championship.
In their previous game in the Championship against Preston, Blackpool opened the scoring at the 26th minute through Keshi Anderson. They capped off their victory when Jerry Yates picked out Gary Madine in the opposition box and the forward found the target from a few yards out. Blackpool’s xG of 1.07 surpassed that of their opponents’, 0.71. Garry Madine had the highest xG in the match followed by Richard Keogh. Josh Bowler made 13 dribbles during the game.
The xT timeline indicates that Blackpool were the more threatening team during the first half. While Preston came back stronger in the second half, Blackpool held on and added another goal to take the game out of their opponent’s reach. The xG timeline further indicates Blackpool’s dominance during both halves with Preston having little to show for.
Blackpool are ranked in eighth in terms of successful dribbles and successful dribbles per 90 indicating their high success rate with dribbles. However, they have been unable to take advantage and have failed to convert their chances.
In terms of successful defensive duels and successful defensive duels per 90, Blackpool are placed in 10th spot in the league. This indicates that they have been fairly successful in winning defensive duels against their opponents.
While it’s still a long way to go before the season enters its final days, Blackpool have displayed the tenacity required to grind out wins, some of them after falling behind in the game. For now, Blackpool fans will remain hopeful that their side can make it to the play-off spot. They will be looking to continue their winning form in their next game away to Sheffield United in the Championship.