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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Barnsley v Blackpool.

16 January 2017

Barnsley will be looking to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in four years.

Back in the 2012-13 season the Reds suffered a quarter-final defeat against Manchester City, which was the Club’s best run in this competition since reaching the semi-finals in 2008.

With Barnsley’s focus now firmly set on a meeting with Blackburn in the next round, Paul Heckingbottom’s men go into the game unbeaten in their last three at home, as well as having lost just once at Oakwell in their last six games.

Blackpool will also be trying to progress past the third round; having not done so since the 2011-12 campaign when they lost against Everton in the fifth round. 

Despite failing to win in four games prior to their trip to Cambridge on Saturday, the Seasiders had gone four unbeaten on the road; winning three and drawing once.

With three clean sheets also kept during that impressive spell, Gary Bowyer’s men will arrive in South Yorkshire ready to cause an upset.

Previous Meetings

Barnsley will hope to make home advantage count when they take on Blackpool.

The Reds have won the last two matches to be played between the sides at Oakwell; securing a 2-0 victory in January 2014, before Sam Winnall’s double helped the Club on its way to a 4-2 triumph in December 2015.

Those wins accompanied by the goalless draw at Bloomfield Road just over a week ago means the Reds are now unbeaten in four against the Seasiders and Paul Heckingbottom’s side will be eager to see that record stretched to five games.

Team News

Paul Heckingbottom is likely to field a strong side as the Reds go in search of a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Ryan Williams, Adam Hammill, Ryan Kent and Marley Watkins will all be vying for a starting spot on the wings, while George Moncur could also be involved.

One man who the Reds will have to do without however is Andy Yiadom, who is away at the African Cup of Nations with Ghana.

Blackpool could stick with the same 5-3-2 formation which served them so well against the Tykes just over a week ago.

That would see Kelvin Mellor and Andy Taylor continue as wing backs, while Mark Cullen, Jamille Matt, Jack Redshaw, Danny Philliskirk and Armand Gnanduillet will all be competing for a starting spot alongside top goal scorer Kyle Vassell in attack.

Man in the Middle

Premier League referee Roger East will take charge of a Barnsley game for the fifth time.

The Reds actually lost their first three games with East as the man in the middle but ended that dismal run with a 4-1 triumph at Yeovil in March 2014.

Blackpool meanwhile have met with the Wiltshire-based official on six previous occasions; winning twice, drawing once and losing three.

The most recent of those games came in December 2013 when East watched over Blackpool’s 2-1 Lancashire derby defeat against Burnley in the Championship.

Despite not taking charge of either of these sides so far this term, the 51-year-old has run the rule over 18 games; dishing out 76 yellow cards and five reds. 

Their Star Man

Following a series of loan moves away from Peterborough, Blackpool completed the permanent signing of forward Kyle Vassell in June.

The 24-year-old only arrived in the Football League in November 2013, when 16 goals in 16 games saw the pacey front man snapped up by the Posh from non-league outfit Bishop’s Stortford.

After netting just six times in 36 games however, as well as loan spells with Oxford, Dagenham & Redbridge and Shrewsbury, Vassell was released at the end of last season.

Peterborough’s loss has certainly been Blackpool’s gain, with the Milton Keynes-born striker hitting 11 goals already this term including one on his debut at home to Exeter, as well as braces against Cheltenham twice and Notts County in November.

The former Brentford trainee has brought strength, power and pace to the Seasiders front line and with two assists as well this season, he is really beginning to show the talent which saw him linked with a number of Clubs whilst in non-league.

Despite that fine form, prior to Blackpool’s visit to Cambridge on Saturday Vassell had failed to find the back of the net in seven games but after coming close on numerous occasions against the Tykes just over a week ago, the Barnsley defence will have to be on their toes.

Mutual Man

After rejuvenating himself under newly appointed Colchester boss John Ward, David Perkins enjoyed a highly impressive 2010-11 season; helping the U’s to a 10th place finish and picking up a number of personal awards including the Club’s Play of the Year.

That form did not go unnoticed and in July 2011 Perkins rejected the offer of a new contract and instead joined Barnsley on a two-year deal.

The former Morecambe midfielder instantly became a regular at Oakwell, making 35 appearances in his maiden season with the Club including one goal which came against the Seasiders in a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road.

After penning a new deal at Oakwell, the energetic midfield man was a regular fixture once again in the 2012-13 campaign, appearing 40 times and receiving the Supporters’ Player of the Year award as the Reds survived relegation by one point.

Despite remaining a central figure in Barnsley’s side, Perkins joined Blackpool in January 2014 on a free transfer; after scoring two goals in 100 appearances for the Reds.

The ex-England C international would go onto spend a season-and-a-half at Bloomfield Road, but despite helping his new side avoid relegation in the 2013-14 season, the same couldn’t be said for the following campaign.

As a result of that demotion, Perkins was released in May 2015 and after staying in Lancashire with Wigan, the 34-year-old played a pivotal role as Latics were promoted back to the Championship last season.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five at home: (DLWWD)

Barnsley 0-0 Wigan Athletic (19/11/2016)

Barnsley 2-5 Nottingham Forest (25/11/2016)

Barnsley 2-1 Norwich City (10/12/2016)

Barnsley 2-0 Blackburn Rovers (26/12/2016)

Barnsley 2-2 Birmingham City (31/12/2016)

Blackpool’s last five away from home before playing Cambridge: (LWWWD)

Mansfield Town 1-0 Blackpool (22/11/2016)

Doncaster Rovers 1-1P Blackpool (6/12/2016) (Checkatrade Trophy)

Stevenage 0-2 Blackpool (10/12/2016)

Hartlepool United 0-1 Blackpool (26/12/2016O

Grimsby Town 0-0 Blackpool (31/12/2016)

Tickets are still available for the Blackpool match at Oakwell tomorrow night! CLICK HERE to buy your tickets now!

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