The international break is finally over and Fulham’s return to Championship action comes courtesy of one of the most eagerly anticipated away trips of the season. The Whites are heading to the seaside to take on newly-promoted Blackpool tomorrow afternoon. Ahead of the Bloomfield Road clash, I got the lowdown on our opponents from Tangerines fan, Danny Ward (@DannyWardBFC).
What are your expectations of Blackpool this season?
We’re definitely going to be in a relegation fight come the climax of the season, but I reckon we have the squad and manager to survive and anywhere around eighteenth or nineteenth would be a great result for us.
What have you made of Blackpool’s start to the season?
Average but promising at the same time. We came from two down again Bournemouth and snatched a late point against Bristol City so that shows that there’s some real fight within the squad. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement, though, and I believe we’ve done that by snapping up Jordan Gabriel and Dujon Sterling towards the end of the transfer window.
What are your thoughts on Blackpool manager Neil Critchley?
I honestly believe Critchley is one of the best managers in the league based on his ability to get the best out of his entire squad, including incorporating younger players as well. His qualifications speak for themselves: he was formerly Liverpool’s under 23s manager, who has a record of bringing through world class talent. He won the play-offs with Blackpool last season and he’s certainly the right man to taking this squad forward – I love the man!
Who is Blackpool’s player to watch?
Shayne Lavery is on very good form at the moment – not just for Blackpool but also for the Northern Ireland national team. He’s extremely quick and I back him to beat anyone on the ball so watch out for him!
What are your thoughts on Fulham and Marco Silva?
Fulham are too good for this division and I’m expecting you to go back up comfortably, I’m very scared of Aleksandar Mitrovic: he’s an unbelievable striker and unplayable on his day. You’ve also got a top top manager in Marco Silva, who just won the manager of the month award and you have an unbelievable squad.
How do you think the game will go on Saturday and what is your score prediction?
We will have to be extremely lucky to get anything out of the game and I want to believe we can do it. It would be true Blackpool style to get our first win of the season against a team as good as Fulham! My heart says it will be a 2-0 win for Blackpool, however my head is leading me to a 3-1 defeat.
Seb’s preferred Fulham starting XI (if everyone is passed fit); Gazzaniga, Tete, Ream, Tosin, Bryan, Seri, Decordova-Reid, Carvalho, Kebano, Mitrovic, Cavaleiro.
@FFCSeb’s Score prediction– Blackpool 0-2 Fulham
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Danny for helping me out with this opposition preview piece. See you all up in sunny Blackpool tomorrow!