MX23RW : Sunday, September 26 21:20:02| >> :600:98918:98918:
Aug 7, 2021 at 3pm UK at Ashton Gate
Bristol CityBristol City
Martin (44')
Baker (64'), John Bell (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lavery (90+2')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Bristol City and Blackpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

League One playoff winners Blackpool mark their return to the Championship with a trip to face Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Nigel Pearson will be hoping that City are ready to hit the ground running after a poor end to the 2021-22 campaign.

Match preview

Nigel Pearson in charge of Bristol City in March 2021© Reuters

On the back of claiming just nine points from 14 Championship fixtures, sections of the Bristol City fanbase will feel that Pearson should not have remained in his role at Ashton Gate.

However, the club's hierarchy responded by handing the former Leicester City man a three-year contract, a show of faith in a manager who has struggled to get results since famously keeping the Foxes in the Premier League a year before their title triumph.

Many of Bristol City's problems last season had little to do with Pearson, but that will not stop supporters expecting a positive start given the changes which have occurred over the summer.

While there have been far more outgoings than players arriving at the club, the additions of Matty James and Andy King should only benefit the dressing room.

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

At a time when Bristol City will hope to emerge as contenders for a playoff spot, Blackpool return to the second tier with survival at the forefront of their mind.

That is not to say that Neil Critchley will not enter the club's first year back in the Championship full of positivity after their strong second half to last season.

Critchley has used his knowledge of Under-23 football to bring in several players looking to make an impact in the professional ranks, while Richard Keogh will relish the opportunity to be a leader in a dressing room lacking experience at this level.

The Tangerines ended a mixed pre-season with an opportunity to square off against Manchester City earlier this week, losing the game at the Premier League champions by a 4-1 scoreline.

Few people would be surprised if one of City's young contingent ended up on loan at Bloomfield Road later this month, and Critchley will hope that the experience will stand them in good stead ahead of their opener.

Bristol City pre-season friendlies form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Blackpool pre-season friendlies form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Leicester City's Andy King pictured on January 6, 2019© Reuters

James and King could be handed immediate debuts in the centre of Bristol City's midfield, but fellow new arrival Rob Atkinson is expected to start among the replacements.

Chris Martin is likely to get the nod over Nahki Wells in attack, with Tomas Kalas available again after representing Czech Republic at Euro 2020.

With so many signings having been made ahead of the new season, Critchley will take a number of things into consideration before selecting his Blackpool XI.

New goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw may have to make do with a spot on the substitutes' bench, but the likes of Keogh and Josh Bowler may be handed a start.

Tyreece John-Jules, who has joined Blackpool on loan from Arsenal, could be kept in reserve.

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Bentley; Vyner, Baker, Kalas, Dasilva; King, James; Weimann, Palmer, O'Dowda; Martin

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Connolly, Keogh, Husband, Garbutt; Ward, James, Dougall, Anderson; Yates, Hamilton

SM words green background

We say: Bristol City 2-1 Blackpool

There is an argument that Blackpool are the marginal favourites for this contest given how City ended last season. Nevertheless, we have to back the established second-tier club to prevail in a close game, potentially with a goal in the latter stages.

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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A general shot of Blackpool stadium Bloomfield Road
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