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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Match Preview

Leicester City vs. Blackpool
Saturday September 12, 15:00, Walkers Stadium

Ian Holloway takes his Blackpool side back to former club Leicester this weekend in a clash between two sides who have made encouraging starts to their respective Championship campaigns.

The experienced Bristolian joined the Seasiders over the summer after caretaker boss Tony Parkes failed to agree a permanent contract at the club. And, after successive fights against the drop in the past two years, the club have made an unbeaten start to this season.

Backed by the wealth of Latvian businessman Valeri Belokon, the former QPR boss has already broken the club's transfer fee record with the £500,000 signing of Rangers midfielder Charlie Adam.

It's a sign of the ambition at Bloomfield Road, with the long-awaited South Stand nearing completion, and the team looking to establish themselves in the top half of the Championship.

Four successive league draws were followed by a 3-0 win over Coventry, and the team in Tangerine have also progressed through to the Third Round of the League Cup after a thumping 4-1 win over Wigan.

Former Foxes boss Holloway took over at Blackpool in the summer

The trip to the East Midlands is likely to provide Pool with one of their toughest examinations to date though. Leicester are unbeaten at home in nearly a year and, after a positive start themselves, lie 8th - a place and a point above the Lancashire side.

Nigel Pearson's men ran away with the League One title last season, and have taken the momentum forwards to the beginning of this term. The Foxes have won both of their home games, against Swansea and Barnsley, and secured solid draws at Ipswich and Sheffield United.

However, they'll be looking to bounce back against Blackpool after suffering their first loss of the campaign last time out - a 1-0 defeat at top-of-the-table Newcastle.

City boast a good mix of youth and experience in their side, centre halves Jack Hobbs and Wayne Brown providing a solid base, and the strike duo of Matty Fryatt and Steve Howard is a classic little man-big man combination.

With the guile of Ricky Wellens and Matt Oakley in midfield and pace out wide from Lloyd Dyer and Dany N'Guessan, Leicester look well placed for a challenge for the top six.

It promises to be a clash of two confident sides at the Walkers, and with the added spice of Holloway's return to a club he endured an ill-fated spell with, all the ingredients are there.

Blackpool have made a solid start to the new season, but the international break probably came at the wrong time for them. And with Leicester desperate to get back to winning ways, it may well be an unhappy return for 'Ollie.'

Nobes' Prediction: Leicester City 2 Blackpool 1

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