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Looking ahead: Wolves v Blackpool

PUBLISHED

10:56 24th January 2013

Previewing the weekend's clash

Saturday will see the second meeting in just over a month with Blackpool - with Wolves looking to complete a quickfire double over the Seasiders.
Around 1000 supporters made the journey up the north west just before Christmas, and they certainly made themselves heard as Wolves won the televised clash 2-1.
Two goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake - the second from the penalty spot - and an outstanding display from Carl Ikeme meant that Alex Baptiste's late reply for the home side was merely a consolation.
Before December's clash, the two sides last met in the Premier League during the 2010/2011 season, with each team winning their home game in a campaign which culminated in both clubs playing a part in one of the most dramatic final days in Premier League history.
The first meeting came at Bloomfield Road in late November, when Wolves conceded an early goal for the third successive game, going behind to Luke Varney's dipping volley on three minutes.
Marlon Harewood then added a second for the home side just before the break, with Kevin Doyle's late effort all Wolves had to show for a disappointing day.
It was all change though when the two sides met at Molineux some three months later. The suspension of Blackpool talisman Charlie Adam, along with a red card for DJ Campbell  and a one-sided second half gave Wolves their biggest win of the season.
Matt Jarvis, Jamie O'Hara and Ebanks-Blake (2) all got their names on the scoresheet as Wolves bounced back from the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser in the Black Country derby at the Hawthorns the previous week.
That result was to prove crucial, as both teams went into the final day of the season among the five clubs that could still potentially fill the two remaining relegation places.
On paper, Blackpool's tie at Manchester United - who were already confirmed as champions - looked tougher than Wolves' home clash with Blackburn, who were another of the teams attempting to avoid the drop.
However, a disastrous first half from Mick McCarthy's team, coupled with a Blackpool goal at Old Trafford, meant that at half time it was the Seasiders set to extend their Premier League stay and Wolves heading for the Championship.
Incredibly, early in the second half, the situation got even better for Blackpool as Gary Taylor-Fletcher put them 2-1 up, while Wolves were still struggling to find their feet against a rampant Blackburn, who led 3-0.
With the game between Tottenham and Birmingham at White Hart Lane also having a bearing on the relegation scrap, things began to turn Wolves' way when Anderson equalised at Old Trafford and O'Hara pulled one back at Molineux.
Two further goals for United condemned Blackpool for the drop, while Stephen Hunt's late strike edged Wolves towards the safety that was confirmed by a second Tottenham goal even later in the day in north London.
Despite losing Adam to Liverpool, Ian Holloway's side were among the favourites to make an immediate return to the Premier League the following season, but lost out to West Ham in the play-off final at Wembley.
Like Wolves, Blackpool have been involved with the managerial merry-go-round in recent times, having previously enjoyed a long spell of stability.
Holloway left in November to take charge at Crystal Palace, and was replaced less than a week later by former boss Michael Appleton. However, Appleton's stay at Bloomfield Road proved to be a short one, as he left to fill the vacant role at Blackburn earlier this month.
Wolves fans will recognise several members of the squad set to be led at Molineux by caretaker boss Steve Thompson, not least Kevin Phillips, who has been prolific in the past during his spells at Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.
Set to line up on the wing is Tom Ince, the son of former Wolves captain Paul, who has reportedly attracted interest from Premier League clubs during this transfer window. 

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