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FA Cup | Second Round
Dec 19, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Bloomfield Road
Forest Green Rovers
3 - 0
Forest Green
Dale (18'), Gabriel (75'), Ekpiteta (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Welch (82')

Preview: Blackpool vs. Forest Green Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Blackpool and Forest Green Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On Saturday, League One side Blackpool will welcome fourth-tier Forest Green Rovers for an FA Cup second-round tie.

The Tangerines will be looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat, while the visitors will try to end a three-game winless run.

Match preview

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley before the match on August 29, 2023© Reuters

Blackpool made relatively light work of National League Bromley to secure their place in the second round, with Shayne Lavery and Karamoko Dembele grabbing a goal apiece to secure a 2-1 victory.

Following their successful cup outing, the Tangerines fell to a 1-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers, before they embarked on a run of three consecutive victories across all competitions.

Unfortunately for Neil Critchley's side, their winning run was brought to an abrupt end in Tuesday's 2-1 home defeat to Northampton Town.

The Tangerines looked to be on their way to securing a point when Jordan Rhodes cancelled out Kieron Bowie's opener, but a 75th-minute effort from Sam Hoskins condemned Blackpool to a narrow defeat, which saw them drop one place to eighth position.

Despite losing at Bloomfield Road in midweek, Blackpool still boast an encouraging home record, having won eight, drawn two and lost three of their 13 competitive home games this season.

Forest Green may welcome the distraction of a cup tie, with the League Two side currently languishing in the League Two relegation zone.

In their most recent outing, David Horseman's side fell to a heavy 3-0 home defeat to Bradford City, which represented their 12th loss of the League Two season (W4, D3).

Forest Green's last victory took place earlier this month when they cruised to a 5-2 win over sixth-tier Scarborough Athletic in a home replay after Olly Sully scored a stoppage-time equaliser in the initial tie to avoid a cup upset.

They will now turn their attention to Saturday's cup fixture, where they will have the chance to reach the third round for the second straight season.

However, they will certainly have their work cut out, having failed to win any of their last seven away matches inside regulation time.

Blackpool FA Cup form:

Blackpool form (all competitions):

Forest Green Rovers FA Cup form:

Forest Green Rovers form (all competitions):

Team News

Lavery has not featured since scoring in the first-round win over Bromley, and the Blackpool striker remains unavailable for Saturday's contest.

The 24-year-old is joined on the sidelines by midfielder Matty Virtue and forward Kylian Kouassi, while right-back Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel is a doubt.

In a bid to freshen up his side, Critchley could present Andy Lyons, Albie Morgan and Kyle Joseph with starting opportunities.

As for the visitors, their lengthy injury list includes Marcel Lavinier, Jordan Garrick, Nathan Holland, Matty Stevens, Matty Taylor and Callum Morton.

Jacob Maddox will also miss out after recently sustaining a hamstring injury, which is set to keep him out of action for six to eight weeks.

Ryan Inniss and Callum Jones could come into the starting lineup after featuring as half-time substitutes in the midweek defeat to Bradford.

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Grimshaw; Pennington, Ekpiteta, Husband; Lyons, Dembele, Dougall, Morgan, Dale; Joseph, Rhodes

Forest Green Rovers possible starting lineup:
Belshaw; Inniss, Moore-Taylor, Bernard; Dabo, Bunker, McAllister, Jones, Robson; Omotoye, Deeney

SM words green background

We say: Blackpool 3-1 Forest Green Rovers

Despite suffering a defeat in midweek, Blackpool will be favourites to progress from this cup tie, and after winning five of their last seven competitive home games, we think that they will claim a relatively comfortable victory over Forest Green Rovers.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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