Preview | Blackpool v Swansea City
Swansea City face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road this afternoon as they go in search of their first win of the 2022-23 season.
The two teams will be looking to pick up a valuable win after back-to-back defeats. Russell Martin’s side will be hoping to bounce back after defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the league last weekend, while the hosts lost to Stoke City.
The Carabao Cup round one fixtures on Tuesday night brought defeat on penalties to lower league opposition for both teams. While the Swans were knocked out by League One Oxford United after a 2-2 draw in regular time, Blackpool played out a goalless draw with Barrow despite three first-half penalties being awarded. The Seasiders missed their first two spot-kicks of the shootout to ensure the League Two team would progress.
There was positive news on the injury front in midweek. Ben Cabango completed his first 90 minutes since sustaining an injury in April, while Joe Allen played his first 30 minutes since returning to the club in the summer.
Martin confirmed the pair are fit enough to be in contention for a first league start. However, Jamie Paterson is still being monitored for a knock.
Russell Martin: "Winning the first game will relax everyone. Looking at a few clubs where there's expectancy, they haven’t won yet.
"We have a lot of people travelling, it’s up to us to make their weekend a really good one.
"Last year they brought a brilliant atmosphere, and we didn’t repay that with enough shots on target, with that willingness to be aggressive.
"Whenever this group has been challenged in terms of criticism, they have responded really well. Blackburn gave some really important reminders.
"We’ll try to bring the game we want to bring. It’s incredible the travelling support we have, you only have to look at nearly 900 making the journey to Oxford in midweek.
"I was just so angry with the way that game ended, but one moment can change the narrative so much."
"I think we'll certainly look at the result and the defeat at Stoke 10 times more than we probably would [the Barrow Carabao Cup match] because obviously there's certain things in the Stoke game that I didn't enjoy in the first half that I want to rectify.
"I'm sure we will do against Swansea on Saturday, and we did that to a degree against Barrow, but it was going to be a very different game anyway.
"As you can see there's two or three players coming back to fitness, which is enjoyable to watch and we've got two or three new lads that have come into the team - the likes of Theo Corbeanu and Charlie Patino - and they did their bit."
REMEMBER THE LAST TIME?
Swansea City suffered a frustrating defeat on their last visit to Blackpool as Gary Madine’s early header settled matters at Bloomfield Road.
The striker headed home unmarked from a corner with fewer than four minutes on the clock, and it proved the difference between the two teams.
Swansea absolutely dominated possession for the remainder of the afternoon – having more than three quarters of the ball – but they struggled to break down a deep and stubborn Blackpool defence.
The closest they came to an equaliser was from Cyrus Christie’s late header, but the ball bounced agonisingly onto the roof of the net.
43 – Bloomfield Road has not been a happy hunting ground for the Swans and it’s been 43 years since they’ve taken three points there. However, it hasn’t been a regular visit in those four decades, Swans have made the 272-mile trip to the Lancashire coast just 12 times but – while half of those dozen games have ended in a draw – it is still a record that the Swans will want to come to an end this afternoon.
71 – The Swans have averaged 71% possession across their first two league matches.
507 - If Joe Allen features this afternoon, it will be his 507th senior appearance. The Wales international has brought much experience to a young Swans squad and will join the likes of Kyle Naughton and Matt Grimes in bringing knowhow and experience to the team.