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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Match Preview

Plymouth Argyle vs. Blackpool
Saturday March 27, 15:00, Home Park

Play-off chasing Blackpool make the long trip down to the South West to face a Plymouth side desperately trying to climb out of the Championship's relegation zone.

With points so precious to both teams, there'll be added spice with the return of Seasiders boss Ian Holloway to a club he acrimonioulsy left in 2007.

The Pilgrims are now under the management of Paul Mariner, who took charge just before Christmas after Paul Sturrock was removed due to poor results.

Things have improved
marginally under the new man, but Argyle still go into Saturday's game five points adrift of safety with time running out.

Their cause was boosted by an impressive 2-0 win at Mariner's old club Ipswich in midweek. However, it's their form at Home Park which will determine their fate come May.

That makes the visit of Blackpool a must-win for the Devon side, despite their opponent's lofty position.

Plymouth will therefore be hoping top scorer Jamie Mackie can add to his eight goals this term and take advantage of opponents who have struggled on the road.

Paul Mariner is battling to keep Plymouth in next's season Championship

They're likely to face a Pool team full of confidence though after they recorded their biggest win of the season on Tuesday night.

A stunning 5-1 win at Bloomfield Road against high flying Swansea re-ignited Holloway's men's play-off challenge. They'll now be hoping to put a run together - starting with recording their first away win since Boxing Day.

Indeed, the Tangerines have suffered defeat in four of their last five games on the road. A goalless draw at Lancashire rivals Preston represents their only positive result away from home.

If they are to make a late push for the top six - they currently sit five points off the play-offs - then the experienced Holloway will expect to beat his struggling former side.

The undoubted star man in the Blackpool side this season has been former Rangers midfielder Charlie Adam. The big-money summer signing has been worth every penny - notching 15 goals of his own and creating numerous others.

With the experienced duo of Ben Burgess and Brett Ormerod up front, if Adam is on his game then the Plymouth defence can be sure of a tough examination.

It's the time of the season though where the greater needs often tells - and Plymouth's is that. The Argyle faithful will also be desperate to beat their former manager's new team.

They have made themselves harder to beat on home soil and, if they can quieten Blackpool's attacking verve, then they can collect a priceless three points.

Nobes' Prediction: Plymouth Argyle 2 Blackpool 1

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