Sky Sports EFL pundit Keith Andrews has suggested that Blackpool should have enough quality within their squad to edge out Lincoln City at Wembley in the League One play-off final.
Blackpool should head into the final full of belief after dismantling Oxford United and putting six goals past them over the legs of their play-off semi-final. The Tangerines pretty much had the job all settled after their excellent first leg performance away at Oxford when they ran out 3-0 winners. That means Neil Critchley’s side might have more time to prepare mentally for Sunday’s showdown.
Lincoln, meanwhile, managed to show a lot of character in their semi-final against Sunderland. They had seen their 2-0 advantage from the first leg wiped out by the Black Cats in the first half of the second leg at the Stadium of Light. However, Michael Appleton managed to get a brilliant response from the Imps and they found a way to edge the tie and make it through to the final.
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Speaking on Sky Sports’ latest EFL podcast, Andrews suggested that Blackpool might have enough quality to secure the win on the day at Wembley against Lincoln. Although he also insisted that it is going to be a very difficult one to call and could be a tight encounter.
He said: “It’s so difficult to call. Lincoln have some exuberant talents, and there’s loads of pace and energy in both teams. You don’t feel the Wembley pitch or the occasion will be an issue.
“The manner of how they got through against Sunderland should stand those young Lincoln players in good stead, but Blackpool are a serious outfit. If one team plays well they win, and I think if Blackpool bring their B+ game, I just fancy them a little bit more.”
This is a very difficult one to choose who might come out on top on Sunday in the League One play-off final. Blackpool have a lot of quality in their ranks and they showed against Oxford that they have goals in them in different areas of the field. Having the confidence and belief that you will find a moment in the final third is pivotal in play-off finals and could make the difference here.
Critchley’s side have had momentum for a prolonged period now and you feel that might well be enough to get them over the line against Lincoln. However, Appleton’s side should never be written off and they showed against Sunderland that they can handle setbacks and respond to the pressure in a very positive fashion.
You can see why Andrews is backing Blackpool to just about have the edge. However, personally, for me Lincoln’s second leg recovery against Sunderland showed a lot about how they will be able to handle the occasion at Wembley. That is what in the end might make the crucial difference between the two sides.