When United take on Blackpool today it will be our first meeting in nearly 36 years.
Since that time United have consolidated their place as the top dogs in English and world football whilst it is in only in 2010 that Blackpool found themselves again amongst English football’s top flight.
But the wait has done them good.
Under Ian Holloway, they have staked their claim as to why they deserve to be here handing defeats to Premier League mainstays including Liverpool both home and away.
Originally scheduled to take place in December, a frozen pitch derail the match and whilst things will always be in our favour in a tie like this, they odds are firmly stacked against Holloway’s men.
Teams: United welcome back Rafael at right back having served his suspension following a red card at White Hart Lane but there are doubts over the availability of both Ferdinand (groin) and Carrick (ankle) meaning that Smalling may once again step into the defence beside Vidic whilst either Fletcher or Gibson are likely to take up Carrick’s position.
Blackpool will expect their man of the moment Charlie Adams to play despite him handing in a transfer request whilst keeper Richard Kingson and striker DJ Campbell are both expected to return. With left back Stephen Crainey out with an ankle injury and David Carney off on international duty with Australia then Alex Baptiste is likely to step in.
Form: Blackpool have just one win in 2010 a 2-1 victory over Liverpool with that victory being their only in their last 3 home games as loses to Sunderland on Saturday and Birmingham at the start of the month have slowed their momentum. This is in stark contrast to United who have won every game they have played in 2010 bar last Sunday’s draw with Spurs. Worryingly though, we are playing away. United have struggled on the road and have won just once in our last 3 away league games and if United win, it will be only our 3rd win on the road this season.
Blackpool last 6 (all comp): LLLWLL
United last 6 (all comp): DWWWDW
This fixture this season: N/A
This fixture last season: N/A
History: The last time United and Blackpool were both in the same division was back in 1974/1975 in the old second division. We beat them 4-0 at Old Trafford and 3-0 at Bloomfield Road as we won promotion back into the first division so that is some what of a good omen whilst our last top flight clashes came in the 1970/1971 campaign with both games ending 1-1 which isn’t such a good omen!
Blackpool are going through a rough patch but this will be like their cup final. United have been poor on the road this term but hopefully the Birmingham result may well have been us turning a corner. I’ll go for a tight United win or at worst a draw.