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Match Previews

PLAY-OFF MATCH PREVIEW: BLACKPOOL V LUTON TOWN

13 May 2017

All the info ahead of tomorrow's match at Bloomfield Road

The Hatters take on Blackpool tomorrow evening for the first leg of their play-off semi-final, as Nathan Jones’ side look to bring a positive result with them back to Kenilworth Road for the return on Thursday night.

Results from games between the two this season certainly favour the Hatters, who picked up a 2-0 victory at Bloomfield Road back in December, before a late Ollie Palmer strike secured a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture in April.



(Pictured: Ollie Palmer celebrates after scoring in the dying moments of the home game against Blackpool in April)

The Hatters finished the regular season second in the Sky Bet League Two form table, picking up 14 points from their last six games, whilst Blackpool were seventh, winning ten points over the same amount of matches.

The Town gaffer spoke of the importance of momentum going into the tie, but he doesn’t believe the results against Pool this season have any bearing on the upcoming games.

He said: “I am not sure it does actually, I think we just start again. It’s two games. Moments change games in these play-offs and these kind of games.

“All it does mean is those six points enabled us to finish in fourth place. Now we put that to bed. We know how they play, but they know how we play.

“We have done our work on them and now we look forward to the next phase of that, it’ll be a good game.”

The Hatters have historically struggled in the play-offs, not winning them once in their previous four attempts.

Blackpool on the other hand have won their last four, most recently, the Championship play-off final back in 2010, which saw them promoted to the Premier League.

Prior to that victory, the Seasiders enjoyed a win over one of Jones’ ex-teams in the play-off final in 2007 which elevated them to the second tier of English football – but the Welshman doesn’t believe that history or statistics benefit either team.

“I helped Blackpool’s stats because I lost to them when I was at Yeovil, but they have no bearing on the game whatsoever,” Jones continued. “Apparently the fourth placed team in League Two gets promoted 48 per cent of the time, so that stat’s in our favour.

“I can’t control history. I haven’t got a time machine. All I can control is the present and the future – and that’s all I am focusing on.

“What’s in the past is in the past. Two separate games, one we are totally focused on, then we will regroup and see where we are for Thursday.”

January signing Luke Gambin is hoping to feature for his side over the upcoming fixtures, who said his team-mates are buzzing at the thought of the semi-final games.



(Pictured: Luke Gambin has made 17 appearances for the Town since he signed for Jones' side back in January)

The 24-year-old said: “I can’t wait to be a part of it, it’s been a long season. I joined in January and it’s been a great experience for me. I have loved every minute of it and I am happy to be a part of it.

“You don’t want to be over-confident, but we know what we are capable of. All the lads are raring to go and they can’t wait for Sunday. With that many fans going it’ll be brilliant. I can’t wait for the atmosphere.”

The Hatters have been victorious in 23 of the 51 meetings between the two teams, whilst Blackpool have won 16 times. The other 12 games have ended in draws.

Tomorrow’s game will be refereed by County Durham based Nigel Miller who has handed out 87 yellow cards and eight red cards in 40 games this season.

Hatters Player subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts’ full match commentary, whilst the live wall on the LTFC website will be available for all supporters.


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