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FA Cup Match Preview: Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool

New Year can mean only one thing - FA Cup Third Round is here again

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Alex Livesey

Bolton Wanderers will be hoping to put their recent league troubles behind them as they welcome near-neighbours Blackpool to the Reebok Stadium this coming weekend in the Third Round of the FA Cup.

Blackpool are currently managed by raging egomaniac and violent bully Paul Ince, who is lucky to still have a job in the game following his latest indiscretion.

After a strong start to the season, things have levelled out and Blackpool find themselves in 12th place having a neat and symmetrical eight wins, eight draws and eight defeats from their 24 league games to date in Ince's first full season as their manager having taken over in February 2013 and guiding the club to a 15th place finish.

Their poor form in recent months is exacerbated by the fact that they made their best-ever start to a league season in the early weeks. An away victory at Bournemouth in September gave them 16 points out of a possible 18, with five wins and a draw in their first six games.

Since then they have found points harder to come by, with just three wins since September, and none since the end of November.

They arrive at the Reebok on a run of seven defeats in the last eight games, a spell broken by a 1-1 home draw with Leeds United on Boxing Day.

The Summer saw an influx of players in and out of the club:

In

Player

From

Fee

Gary MacKenzie

MK Dons

Undisclosed

Bobby Grant

Rochdale

Undisclosed

Michael Chopra

Unattached

Free transfer

Steve Davies

Bristol City

£500,000

Ricardo Fuller

Unattached

Free transfer

Nathan Delfouneso

Aston Villa

Six-month loan

Charles Dunne

Wycombe Wanderers

Undisclosed

Bradley Orr

Blackburn Rovers

Five-month loan

Nathan Tyson

Derby County

Free transfer

Stephen Dobbie

Crystal Palace

Loan

Dan Gosling

Newcastle United

Loan

Out

Player

To

Fee

Alex Baptiste

Bolton Wanderers

Free transfer

Kevin Phillips

Crystal Palace

Free transfer

Ashley Eastham

Rochdale

Free transfer

Tiago Gomes

Released

Neal Eardley

Birmingham City

Free transfer

Chris Kettings

York City

Loan

Stephen Crainey

Wigan Athletic

Free transfer

Louis Almond

Hyde

Season-long loan

Matt Phillips

QPR

Undisclosed

Ince has come under some pressure lately from fans, with the online community pressing for a return for former manager Ian Holloway. The FA Cup will no doubt bring much-needed relief for Ince and the club as they aim to provide an escape from their current league woes.

These two clubs have a rich history, and will be facing each other on Saturday for the 101st time. Bolton lead the way on 40 wins to Blackpool's 32. Top scorer for Bolton against Blackpool is Nat Lofthouse, unsurprisingly, with 10 goals.

Last Five Meetings

27.11.2010 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 2 Blackpool (Martin Petrov, Mark Davies)

14.05.2011 - Blackpool 4 v 3 Bolton Wanderers (Matt Taylor, Kevin Davies, Daniel Sturridge)

10.11.2012 - Blackpool 2 v 2 Bolton Wanderers (Mark Davies, Chung-Yong Lee)

04.05.2013 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 2 Blackpool (Chris Eagles, Craig Davies)

01.10.2013 - Blackpool 0 v 0 Bolton Wanderers

Prediction

It has been a while since we beat this lot, so it's high time we did.

Heart

Bolton Wanderers 3 v 0 Blackpool

Head

Bolton Wanderers 1 v 0 Blackpool - attendance 5,000 tops