Blackpool vs Leeds Utd: Match Preview, Team News & Likely Line-Ups

Date: Thursday, 26 December; Venue: Bloomfield Road, Blackpool; Kickoff: 17:15 GMT Leeds United have not won at Blackpool since 1967, yet they are three points and five places better off than their hosts on Boxing Day after 21 Championship matches. Paul Ince's Seasiders have lost four in a row, dropping out of the playoffs and down to tenth at Christmas. Brian McDermott and the Whites have benefitted from this, putting together an unbeaten run of two wins and two draws which has resulted in them climbing into the top six. Scotland striker Ross McCormack is in hot form for Leeds after scoring 11 goals in his last eight matches. Blackpool €“ contending with injuries and suspensions €“ have by contrast only netted that many times as a team since the end of September. As this match kicks off after all but one of the Championship encounters on Boxing Day, United will start no lower than eighth. Other results could see the Tangerines could fall as far as twelfth.

Team News

Blackpool midfielder Angel Martinez returns from a ban alongside striker Ricardo Fuller. The much-travelled Jamaican frontman is rated doubtful, however, as he is struggling with a hamstring problem. Centre back Gary MacKenzie could also miss out with a similar injury. Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart may thus keep his place in defence. Ince is also likely to hand Steve Davies another opportunity to lead the Seasiders attack ahead of Michael Chopra. Luke Murphy misses out in the Leeds engine room through suspension, so McDermott must replace him with one of experienced pair Michael Brown or Michael Tonge. Lithuanian defender Marius Zaliukas, a former Hearts captain, faces a fitness test over an ankle problem. Source: BBC

Likely Line-Ups

Blackpool: 1 Matt Gilks, 17 Chris Basham, 5 Gary MacKenzie/20 Craig Cathcart, 6 Kirk Broadfoot, 3 Jack Robinson, 12 Neal Bishop/31 Angel Martinez, 16 Barry Ferguson, 4 Dan Gosling, 15 Stephen Dobbie, 9 Steve Davies, 11 Tom Ince 4-3-3 Leeds Utd: 1 Paddy Kenny, 4 Tom Lees, 24 Marius Zaliukas, 5 Jason Pearce, 2 Lee Peltier, 17 Michael Brown/18 Michael Tonge, 8 Rudolph Austin, 36 Alex Mowatt, 16 Danny Pugh, 20 Matt Smith, 44 Ross McCormack 3-5-2
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Jamie Clark is a qualified Web Journalist after undergoing professional training at the University of Sheffield. A prolific and accredited sports writer, he also enjoys classic comedy, historic fiction, 80s music and heritage.