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Pre-season Friendlies
Jul 10, 2021 at 3pm UK


FT(HT: 0-1)
Mitchell (6'), Lavery (76')

Preview: Southport vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Southport and Blackpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Blackpool are in action for the second time in less than 24 hours on Saturday afternoon with a trip to lower-league side Southport.

The Tangerines are gearing up for their return to the Championship after earning promotion in May, while Southport are preparing for the resumption of the National League North.

Match preview

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

Blackpool recovered from a slow start to 2020-21, which saw them lose five of their first seven games, to eventually finish in the playoffs and beat Lincoln City in the final.

Now, for the first time since May 2015, the Seasiders are back in the second tier and the aim will be to dodge relegation.

Neil Critchley deserves big praise for guiding Pool out of League One in his first season in senior management, but the 42-year-old has little time to prepare for the new season.

A handful of new players have been brought in, including a trio - Josh Bowler, Callum Connolly and Shayne Lavery - who have Everton connections.

All focus now will be on the opening Championship clash with Bristol City on August 7, but Critchley's charges have eight friendlies to play before then.

That includes a couple of run-outs on back-to-back days this week, as they follow up Friday night's match with Squires Gate with this game against Southport.

With that in mind, it is likely that Critchley will split his squad and field two lineups made up of first team and Under-23s players for both matches.

That presents Southport with a chance to pull off an upset, albeit in a friendly, in what is their first match since February due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sandgrounders will then face Runcorn Linnets, Huddersfield Town, Longridge Town, Barrow, Warrington Town and Everton Under-23s before their National League North season begins.

Liam Watson will continue to strengthen his squad before the curtain-raising fixture with Gloucester City in a month's time, having already brought in four new signings so far.

Southport form (last season):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Blackpool form (last season):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Blackpool players celebrate winning the League One playoff final on May 30, 2021© Reuters

Goalkeeper Cameron Mason was signed from Curzon Ashton this week and is in line to make his debut in goal on Saturday.

Chris Doyle, Doug Tharme and Charlie Munro have also been brought on board, each of whom will now be eager to nail down a regular starting spot.

As for Blackpool, Bowler, Connolly and Lavery may all be considered for selection, depending on whether or not they are used against Squires Gate on Friday.

Wales Under-18s international Luke Mariette is another who may come into Critchley's thoughts at this stage.

SM words green background

We say: Southport 1-3 Blackpool

Blackpool won six and drew one of their last seven games last season and will be eager to continue building momentum heading into the Championship season.

The Tangerines will likely field a relatively weak lineup, but they should still prove too strong for a Southport side finding their feet after a prolonged break.

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