Preview: Blackpool vs. Nottingham Forest

Blackpool manager Barry Ferguson looks on during the Championship match against Reading on January 28, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between out-of-form Blackpool and in-form Nottingham Forest at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool will have another chance to turn their fortunes around when they host Nottingham Forest at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

The Seasiders' season is in tatters following a run of 13 matches without a win in all competitions, and they must now complete the campaign without star player Thomas Ince after he was sent out on loan.

Ince Jnr was swift to follow his father Paul Ince out of the door, and the latter's successor as manager Barry Ferguson will have one eye cast tentatively over his shoulder as his side continue to slip towards trouble.

A return of just two points from a possible 36 is relegation form in any division, and Blackpool are now just nine points clear of the bottom three with those below them beginning to pick up points on a more regular basis.

Having lost their most potent attacking player, Blackpool's chances of improving an already woeful record of just six goals in their last 13 games in all competitions look grim.

Just two of those goals have come at home, where they are now without a win in five matches having lost just one of their first nine.

In the absence of Ince, Ferguson could give debuts to Andrew Keogh and Stephen Dobbie, while Neal Bishop is his only injury doubt.

At the other end of the spectrum from Blackpool are Nottingham Forest, who have put themselves in a commanding position to qualify for the playoffs with a fine run of form.

Forest have gone 14 games without defeat in all competitions to build up a seven-point gap between them and seventh-placed Ipswich Town, while they are now just six points off the automatic promotion spots.

A fourth consecutive victory on Saturday would see that gap reduced to just three and could even lift them as high as third in the table, with Derby County and Queens Park Rangers not playing until Monday night.

With just two defeats, Billy Davies's side have lost fewer games on their travels this season than any other team in the Championship, but they have had a problem with draws, sharing the spoils seven times in their 13 matches.

Forest will be without injured quartet Kelvin Wilson, Chris Cohen, David Vaughan and Henri Lansbury, but Jack Hobbs is expected to start having made his move from Hull City permanent.

Recent form

Blackpool: LLLDLL

Nottm Forest: DWDWWW

Possible starting lineups

Blackpool: Gilks; Cathcart, Mackenzie, Broadfoot; Keogh, Perkins, Basham, Osbourne, Halliday; Dobbie; Davies

Nottm Forest: Darlow; Jara, Hobbs, Lascelles, Fox; Majewski, Reid, Mackie, Moussi, Paterson; Cox

Sports Mole says: 0-2

Nottingham Forest's Welsh midfielder David Vaughan and Preston North End's English forward Joe Garner compete for the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round match between Nottingham Forest and Preston North End at City Ground in Nottingham on January
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