Blackpool welcome Middlesbrough in a cruch stand-out clash in a rearranged Championship matchweek.
Victory could see Blackpool climb as high as 13th in the table with a win depending on results elsewhere swinging in their favour.
Middlesbrough meanwhile can leapfrog the Tangerines with a win and themselves go as high as 13th if results elsewhere go in their favour.
Jordan Thorniley is ruled out for Blackpool after he was substituted in Saturday’s defeat against Luton with a suspected concussion, meaning that concussion protocols must be obeyed.
Keshi Anderson, Liam Bridcutt, Lewis Fiorini (all hamstring), Jake Beesley (foot), Callum Connolly (suspension), Jordan Gabriel (knee) and Kevin Stewart (metatarsal) remain absent.
Charlie Patino (fatigue), Shayne Lavery, Stuart Moore, Ian Poveda and Sonny Carey (all illness) could all be available
Middlesbrough could welcome Duncan Watmore (head) and Matt Clarke (back) into contention if either player is match-fit and given the all-clear by club doctors, after the pair missed Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Bristol City.
Massimo Luongo won’t be risked until he is declared match-fit whilst Darnell Fisher (knee) remains absent.
- Blackpool are unbeaten in three of seven previous Championship meetings against Middlesbrough (W1, D2, L4).
- Middlesbrough have won in each of their last three league visits to Blackpool (W3), in which they scored six goals and conceded twice.
- The Tangerines won two of their three meetings against Middlesbrough in all competitions last season (W2, L1), with both league meetings finishing 2-1 to the away team.
- Blackpool have scored in three of their last four home matches at Bloomfield Road (W2, L2).
- One of Chuba Akpom’s seven league goals for Boro this season was scored from the penalty spot.
Despite missing several regulars due to a mixture of illness and injury on Saturday, Blackpool certainly didn’t disgrace themselves because they mounted an excellent attacking effort against Luton, although they were ultimately let down by poor finishing and a scrappy conceded goal.
Michael Appleton’s Tangerines therefore should take heart from that performance and look to regroup now that some players are set to be back, including Lavery and Carey who will hopefully add extra firepower to the attack if their fitness levels are strong enough to last 90 minutes.
Middlesbrough meanwhile dominated Bristol City even despite conceding from a sloppy counter-attack in which they struggled to mark Andreas Weimann and Tommy Conway well, yet there was an evident reaction throughout the match with stronger attacking but their end product needs more patience.
Now if both teams can bring that same quality into this match then we could have an entertaining encounter on the cards, although I am going to favour Boro for the win because fitness levels could be Blackpool’s stumbling block in the closing stages.
Prediction: Blackpool 1-2 Middlesbrough
Result: Blackpool 0-3 Middlesbrough