MX23RW : Sunday, June 20 22:41:07| >> :120:40652:40652:
May 30, 2021 at 3pm UK at Wembley Stadium
LincolnLincoln City
Dougall (34', 54')
Garbutt (8'), Ballard (48'), Husband (84'), Dougall (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Turton (1' og.)
Bridcutt (66')

Preview: Blackpool vs. Lincoln City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's League One clash between Blackpool and Lincoln City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Blackpool and Lincoln City meet in the League One playoff final on Sunday afternoon looking to conclude their best league campaign in years with promotion to the Championship.

While Blackpool comfortably progressed past Oxford United in the last four, Lincoln needed to fend off a second-leg fightback from Sunderland to book their spot at Wembley Stadium.

Match preview

Blackpool's Ellis Simms celebrates scoring their second goal against Oxford United in the League One playoffs on May 18, 2021© Reuters

Despite having ended the regular campaign with four successive victories, Blackpool were not expected to brush aside Oxford with minimal fuss over two legs.

While they conceded three goals during the reverse fixture at Bloomfield Road, Neil Critchley's side were never under any real threat having prevailed 3-0 away from home.

Blackpool have now posted just two defeats, both by 1-0 scorelines, since the middle of February, and Critchley will do everything possible to ensure that complacency does not become an issue at the weekend.

That appears unlikely with the North-West outfit looking to end a six-year spell away from the Championship, the club finishing no higher than 10th position in League One during that time.

Ellis Simms stole the show during the first game against Oxford, but Jerry Yates has also chipped in with three goals and three assists from his last four outings.

Lincoln City's manager Michael Appleton and Regan Poole celebrate after the match against Sunderland in the League One playoffs on May 22, 2021© Reuters

At a time when Blackpool have been outside the second tier since 2015, Lincoln are bidding to end five decades away from that level of football.

The Imps are no strangers to high-profile matches after claiming two promotions, winning the EFL Trophy and reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals over the past four seasons.

Nevertheless, the rewards on offer at the weekend trumps them all, and Michael Appleton and his squad will be desperate to ensure that they are not left empty-handed after a strong first half of the season.

While their form has dropped off since the middle of February, Appleton could only take positives from how his players repelled Sunderland during the second half of their game at the Stadium of Light.

Lincoln seemed to relish becoming the underdogs in that fixture, and a similar scenario on Sunday afternoon should not do them any harm as they look to go from National League to Championship in just four years.

Blackpool League One form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Lincoln City League One form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Blackpool's manager Neil Critchley celebrates after the match against Oxford on May 21, 2021© Reuters

Critchley will give defender Daniel Ballard every opportunity to shake off a groin injury before selecting his Blackpool XI.

Marvin Ekpiteta is on stand-by to feature in defence if the Arsenal loanee does not pass a fitness test.

Barring any late issues, Critchley could stick with the team which started the second leg against Oxford.

Joe Walsh is expected to earn a recall to the Lincoln side after his performance as a half-time substitute against Sunderland.

Lewis Montsma could be the man to miss out, while Adam Jackson is unlikely to be considered for a starting role even if he is ready to return from injury.

Conor McGrandles may get the nod in the centre of midfield with Brennan Johnson moving further forward to replace Anthony Scully.

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Turton, Ballard, Husband, Garbutt; Mitchell, Stewart, Dougall, Embleton; Simms, Yates

Lincoln City possible starting lineup:
Palmer; Poole, Walsh, Eyoma, Edun; McGrandles, Bridcutt, Grant; Johnson, Hopper, Rogers

SM words green background

We say: Blackpool 2-1 Lincoln City

When it comes to the playoffs, less attention should be paid to the formbook. However, on this occasion, we cannot ignore that Blackpool have performed far better than Lincoln of late, and we expect the Tangerines to cap an excellent end to the campaign with a place in the second tier.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data

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Blackpool manager Neil Critchley looks at his watch on January 23, 2021
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