Blackpool and West Ham United go head to head at Wembley this weekend with a place in the Premier League the reward for the winners, as Ladbrokes report free bets and offer long odds on Ian Holloway’s side to once again make the Premier League.
After progressing through their respective semi-final matches, these two teams now travel to Wembley with the hope of making their way to the top flight. It is the league everyone in English football wants to be in of course.
Going into the match, West Ham are without doubt the favourites. They are the team that finished higher in the league, have the stronger squad and even managed two comfortable victories over Blackpool earlier this season.
Sam Allardyce will be very conscious of the mentality of his team going into the match though. Like they did in the semi-final against Cardiff, he needs his team to be focused, professional and at their best.
After all, West Ham looked like a Premier League outfit during the two semi-final matches and this is a trend they will want to continue this weekend and beyond. Their fans expect and now it is time to deliver.
Standing in their way is a very good Blackpool side. They have some excellent momentum behind them after nine games unbeaten, a run that saw them work their way into the promotion picture after little discussion about them this season.
Ian Holloway has done a fantastic job at Bloomfield Road since he arrived and this has continued this season. To get within one game of promotion in the season after relegation is a fantastic achievement.
Many thought that Blackpool’s season in the Premier League was going to be a one off and that they would be settled in the Championship again. This may not be the case though and everyone connected with the club deserves huge credit.
Overall, this is the perfect play-off final. West Ham – the big spenders, the favourites – up against Blackpool – the loveable underdogs. It should be a cracking match and it really could go either way.