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Everton v Blackpool Match Preview

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As mad as it sounds, but I actually have a good feeling about this game......

 

As you can perhaps gather from my rallying cry (of sorts) on Thursday I am feeling all bullish about Everton at the moment (I think because I couldn't take being depressed about them any longer!).

But despite the tortuous transfer window and disappointing result against Arsenal,I still feel we aren't far away from stringing together a few decent results.

Our main problem this season has been at home against the likes of Wigan, West Brom and Wolves.But all those teams have come to Goodison looking to defend first.

Thanks to our ineptness in front of goal these teams have grown in confidence as the game has gone on while we got increasingly desperate.

The Blackpool game should be different though because Ian Holloway's side will always go out and attack - even if it creates space at the back.

That should give us opportunity to get a run-in on the Tangerines defence, especially in wide areas - a big game from Billy is needed tomorrow.

The last team to do that was Spurs, and it resulted in a thrilling match which, of course, we won. We were helped by an early goal, something we haven't always got this season and you can see the confidence drain from the players as the match wears on when we don't.

Blackpool though have lost six of their last seven. After a flying start things look to be unraveling - much like Hull City two year's ago. They do have a better away record than home though and indeed have won more matches on the road as Everton have at Goodison. With confidence fragile for both sides the first goal will be very important on Saturday.

Another boost for the Toffees is the return of Tim Cahill. The Aussie has been away on international duty since New Year's Day and was rested for the Arsenal defeat on Tuesday. I won't go as far as saying he is like a new signing but his desire and enthusiasm is infectious and I hope it will draw a positive reaction from the players as well as giving the supporters a much needed boost.

Team news wise the return of Cahill and the expected return of Tony Hibbert from a virus gives Moyes a fully fit squad to choose from.

For Blackpool Ian Holloway will give late fitness tests to captain Charlie Adam (calf) and midfielder David Vaughan (knee).

 

Match stats

 

Head-to-head

• Everton are unbeaten in their last six games against Blackpool (all competitions).

• The Seasiders' last visit to Goodison Park ended in a 3-0 League Cup defeat in August 1980.


Everton


• Everton have won just two of their last 14 league games.

• No other Premier League team has drawn more matches than The Toffees this season (12).

• Everton have yet to lose a match when they have been level at half time, drawing eight and winning three.

Blackpool


• Blackpool have lost six of their last seven league games - and seven of the last eight in all competitions.

• They have conceded 15 goals in 2011, more than any other club in the division.

James Beattie scored 15 goals in 86 matches for Everton from 2005 to 2007.