Blackpool match preview





• West Ham United return to action for a match that will mark Kick It Out's annual anti-racism initiative One Game, One Community. Club ambassador Kevin Nolan and manager Sam Allardyce have led the way in promoting the awareness campaign.

• The match is Kids for a Quid, with the Hammers continuing their affordable football for all strategy.

• Both teams are seeking an automatic return to the Barclays Premier League after relegation last season. Birmingham City were the other side to drop down from the top flight.

• This is the Hammers' eleventh npower Championship fixture of 2011/12 and they are seeking their third home league victory of the season. The Hammers have previously beaten Portsmouth (4-3) and Peterborough United (1-0), drawn with Leeds United (2-2) and lost to Cardiff City and Ipswich Town (both 0-1). The Ipswich defeat came in the Hammers previous home fixture on Tuesday 27 September.

• The Hammers know a victory over the Tangerines could lift them into the automatic promotion places behind leaders Southampton, who they travel to visit on Tuesday evening. Today, second-placed Middlesbrough host Millwall, while third-placed Derby County host the Saints.

• Both of West Ham United's home defeats have come by way of goals in the 89th minute or later. Kenny Miller netted for Cardiff City on the opening weekend of the season, while Lee Bowyer scored for Ipswich Town last time out. Ross McCormack also secured a point for Leeds United with a last-minute strike on 21 August.

• Seventh-placed Blackpool could leapfrog the Hammers and rise as high as third in the table with a victory this afternoon.

• Last November's goalless draw at the Boleyn was the first meeting between West Ham and Blackpool since 27 February 1971, when the teams drew 1-1 at Bloomfield Road. The Hammers had won 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground on 31 October 1970 - almost exactly 40 years ago - but lost out 4-0 away to the Seasiders in a FA Cup third-round game the following January.

• Saturday's match will mark the 52nd competitive meeting between West Ham and Blackpool. The Hammers have won 18, the Tangerines 20 and there have been 13 draws. In league football, West Ham's record is better in the 40 matches the pair have contested - 17 wins to 14, with eleven draws.

• Blackpool have not won in their last 17 visits to the Boleyn Ground in all competitions. In those matches, West Ham have recorded eleven wins and there have been six draws. The Tangerines' last victory in east London came in the shape of a 2-1 success on 14 April 1934.

• West Ham's biggest home win against Blackpool was a 5-1 FA Cup third-round success on 4 January 1958. Blackpool have won just twice in 25 visits to the Boleyn Ground, with a 2-0 Division Two victory on 24 April 1922 representing their biggest win at the home of the Hammers.

Team news

West Ham United

• Manager Sam Allardyce could hand striker John Carew his first league start for the club after the Norway international scored for his country in midweek to go with the goal he struck at Crystal Palace a fortnight ago.

• Senegal midfielder Papa Bouba Diop could also make his home bow after his impressive 90 minutes at Palace.

• Manuel Almunia could make his home bow after his debut at Palace. Robert Green is two weeks into a six-week recovery after his knee cartiliage surgery.

• Matt Taylor (calf), Winston Reid (hamstring) and Mark Noble (toe) should all be in contention although Joey O'Brien is still struggling with his hamstring injury.

• On-loan David Bentley is unlikely to play again this season after major knee surgery on Tuesday.

• Guy Demel is making good progress from a hamstring injury that has delayed his debut but may not yet be ready.

• Gary O'Neil (ankle) is out with long-term ankle injury.

• Pablo Barrera and Jordan Spence are on season-long loans at Real Zaragoza and Bristol City respectively. Ahmed Abdulla and Cristian Montano (Swindon Town), Jordan Brown (Aldershot Town), Robert Hall (Oxford United), Herita Ilunga (Doncaster Rovers), Olly Lee (Dagenham & Redbridge), Callum McNaughton (AFC Wimbledon), Frank Nouble (Gillingham), Marek Stech (Yeovil Town) and Dominic Vose (Braintree) are all out on temporary loans.


• New signing Lomana LuaLua could make his debut after signing on Thursday.

• Scotland left-back Stephen Crainey is struggling to be fit after suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of his country's 2012 UEFA European Championship qualifier in Spain in midweek.

• Centre-back Craig Cathcart is listed as a 'major doubt' with a knee injury that ruled him out of Northern Ireland's 2012 UEFA European Championship qualifier in Italy on Tuesday.

• Malta striker Daniel Bogdanovic is also struggling to be fit after pulling out of Malta's 2012 UEFA European Championship qualifier against Israel on Tuesday with a hamstring problem.

Last time out

Saturday 1 October 2011
npower Championship
Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham United
West Ham: Almunia, Faubert, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney, Bentley (Sears 89), Diop, Nolan, Lansbury, Collison (Baldock 68), Cole (Carew 68)
Subs not used: Boffin, Demel
Goals: Nolan 16, Carew 80

Saturday 1 October 2011
npower Championship
Blackpool 5-0 Bristol City
Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Cathcart, Crainey, Evatt, Southern, Ferguson, Shelvey, Sutherland (Ince 73), Taylor-Fletcher (Bogdanovic 71), Phillips (Ormerod 72)
Subs not used: Howard, Hill
Goals: Taylor-Fletcher 37, Shelvey 66, Bogdanovic 83, 90, Ormerod 90)

Previous meetings

• The most recent meeting between the sides was the 3-1 away win for the Hammers on 2 February this year. Victor Obinna scored twice after Robbie Keane's first goal for the Hammers on his debut.

Head to head

Last six meetings

2 February 2011 Blackpool 1-3 West Ham United (Premier League)
13 November 2010 West Ham United 0-0 Blackpool (Premier League
27 February 1971 Blackpool 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
2 January 1971 Blackpool 4-0 West Ham United (FA Cup third round)
31 October 1970 West Ham United 2-1 Blackpool (Division One)
27 December 1966 West Ham United 4-0 Blackpool (Division One)

Overall record v Blackpool (all competitions) W 18 D 13 L 20

Ten-year records

West Ham United

2010/11 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th
2008/09 Premier League 9th
2007/08 Premier League 10th
2006/07 Premier League 15th
2005/06 Premier League 9th
2004/05 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via play-offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th
2002/03 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th


2010/11 Premier League 19th (relegated to the Championship)
2009/10 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via play-offs)
2008/09 Championship 16th
2007/08 Championship 19th
2006/07 League One 3rd (promoted to Championship via play-offs)
2005/06 League One 19th
2004/05 League One 16th
2003/04 League One 14th
2002/03 League One 13th
2001/02 League One 16th


• Saturday's referee will be 47-year-old Andy D'Urso.

• The experienced official will take charge of his fifth npower Championship fixture of 2011/12 and 13th domestic league and cup match in total.

• D'Urso was first promoted to the Football League list of referees in 1994, being named on the Select list of Premier League referees five years later.

• In 2001 he was nominated for FIFA status, taking charge of his first full international in May 2004 when the Republic of Ireland met Nigeria.

• D'Urso had refereed five West Ham United fixtures previously - the most recent being the 1-0 home Premier League victory over Chelsea on 3 May 2003.

• One of the biggest matches the official has ever taken charge of was the 2006/07 League One Play-Off final, which saw Blackpool overcome Yeovil Town 2-0 to gain promotion to the Championship.

• Of the six Blackpool fixtures D'Urso has refereed, the most recent was a 1-1 Championship draw at Queens Park Rangers on 8 August 2009.

• This season, in all competitions, he has shown 42 yellow cards and sent one player off in 12 matches.

Us and them

• Sam Allardyce took up his first full-time managerial post when he was appointed as Blackpool boss in July 1994. Big Sam spent two seasons in charge at Bloomfield Road, leading the Tangerines to their highest league finish in 18 years in 1995/96. Blackpool finished third in Division Two (now League One) before being defeated in the Play-Offs. Of the 102 matches he took charge of at Blackpool, Big Sam won 44, lost 23 and drew 35.

• Mark Noble played alongside Blackpool striker Billy Clarke during his loan spell at Ipswich Town between August and November 2006. The pair have remained close friends.

• Blackpool's on-loan Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is a lifelong West Ham United supporter who has recently revealed that he used to come to watch the Hammers after finishing training at his first club Charlton Athletic. Shelvey also spent time with the Hammers as a schoolboy.

• Blackpool winger Tom Ince is the son of former West Ham United and England midfielder Paul Ince.

• Six players have made their West Ham United debuts against Blackpool - Tommy Hodgson, William Williams (both May 1922), Jim Holmes (September 1936), Colin Mackleworth (December 1966), John McDowell (October 1970) and Robbie Keane (February 2011).

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are L.Armeson (guest player), Louis Cardwell (guest player), George Dick, Marlon Harewood, Walter Miller, Adam Nowland, Les Sealey, Don Travis and Bob Wyllie.

Up next

• West Ham United will travel to Southampton on Tuesday night. Blackpool welcome Doncaster Rovers on the same evening

General information

• Fans will be able to pay at cash turnstiles on the day. For ticket information, click here.

• For directions to the Boleyn Ground, click here.