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Match preview: AFC Bournemouth v Blackpool
AFTER successfully snuffing out fancied Wigan Athletic in their last home game, Cherries will be hoping to turn the tables on stoic Seasiders Blackpool tomorrow.
The statistics suggest a sensational rather than solid start would stand Eddie Howe’s men in greater stead as the Championship’s shock pacesetters provide another test of Cherries’ second-tier credentials.
Paul Ince’s table-toppers have reached the summit by picking off their opponents late in the day, recording four wins from five unbeaten league matches by scoring all but one of their seven goals in the final 15 minutes of matches.
With just two blots on their defensive copy book, Blackpool boast the division’s joint-meanest defence along with fellow early front-runners QPR and have yet to concede the opening goal in a league fixture to date.
And along with his side’s defensive diligence, Ince snared a couple of deadline day aces who could give Cherries plenty to think about at the other end.
Striker Nathan Tyson will have a point to prove after arriving from Derby County, while 23-year-old former Ajax winger Marvin Zeegelaar, signed on loan from Elazigspor, may be involved should he be granted a work permit.
Full-back Bradley Orr, who joined strikers Michael Chopra and Ricardo Fuller for extra training during the international break in a bid to boost their fitness, completed the Seasiders’ last ditch dealings and has a reputation for finding himself in more advanced positions.
And although Blackpool’s fixtures have yet to yield many goals, recent fixtures between the sides have had a reputation for being net-busters.
Ince’s former England team-mate Darren Anderton was dismissed for two bookable offences the last time Blackpool, bound for the Championship via the play-offs in 2006-7, played at Dean Court.
Keigan Parker’s brace helped the visitors to a three-goal lead with Simon Gillett netting the late consolation for Kevin Bond’s strugglers.
Cherries will be seeking their first clean sheet in 10 attempts against Blackpool with a series of goal-fests lighting up recent meetings.
Manager Howe played in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bloomfield Road in 2004 while Carl Fletcher scored twice and James Hayter also got his name on the scoresheet in a 4-3 defeat in two years earlier.
Cherries’ biggest win over the Seasiders came on home soil just over 20 years ago when Efan Ekoku, not long plucked out of the non-league ranks from Sutton United, netted a brace and inspired a 5-1 victory at Dean Court.
Rob Murray also scored twice in a rare start after signing professional terms under Tony Pulis. Murray had made his Cherries debut in a 2-0 defeat at Blackpool earlier that season.
Echo man to watch: The manager’s son Tom Ince scored 18 goals for the Tangerines last season and already has two goals and an assist to his name despite suffering an early season injury.
Nickname: The Tangerines
Manager: Paul Ince
Title odds: 40-1
Last season: 15th in Championship
Ground (capacity): Bloomfield Road (16,750)
Distance from Dean Court: 290 miles
Ground postcode: FY1 6JJ
Other stories across the site:
- AFC Bournemouth: Tangerine test will come from Tom says Francis
- AFC Bournemouth feature: Cherries star Pitman is pleased he rejected Blackpool
- AFC Bournemouth: Francis relishing Tangerines test
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