Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Blackpool will emerge with the derby day spoils when they take on Preston North End at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.
Blackpool’s return to the Championship following their promotion from League One sees this fierce derby clash return in the league for the first time since the 2009/10 campaign.
The Tangerines head into the derby clash full of confidence with Neil Critchley’s side having produced a remarkable turnaround against Reading in mid-week to come from 2-0 behind to claim all three points in a 3-2 win. That game also saw Jerry Yates continue his return to form for Blackpool.
The win means that Blackpool have now won three of their last five Championship fixtures. That has seen them climb up into the top half of the table with them on 18 points after 13 matches back in the English second tier.
Preston, meanwhile, head into the game also with renewed confidence after their lengthy winless run in the Championship was finally brought to an end with a 2-1 comeback win against Coventry City at Deepdale in mid-week.
That result kept the Lilywhites within just three points of Blackpool in the table heading into the clash. That puts a little more edge on what is already an intense rivalry between the two sides.
Quiz: Did these 25 Preston North End transfers actually happen?
Making his latest round of predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton suggested that Blackpool might have just about enough momentum at the moment to edge out Preston and secure the derby day bragging rights. He predicts Critchley’s side will run out 2-1 winners.
It has already been a promising start to the season for Blackpool, but a win in this game would make it a near-perfect return to the Championship for Critchley’s side.
Blackpool head into the game full of confidence and it is important that they try to approach this contest like they would do any other and play the game and not the occasion.
That might be a tired phrase at times ahead of derby clashes, but it is poignant for Critchley’s side heading into this one.
Preston will believe they can secure a second successive win here after ending their winless run in mid-week against Coventry.
A win here would be a major boost for Frankie McAvoy and really help to put himself in good favour with the Lilywhites’ supporters.
This is one of those derby clashes that is perhaps overlooked by those outside of Lancashire, but it remains a very bitter rivalry between the two sets of supporters and it should be an excellent atmosphere inside Bloomfield Road.
It is hard to predict a winner but it will come down to who handles the occasion the better.