One of the most important League One fixtures of the season will take place tomorrow as Blackpool take on Lincoln City in the Play-off final in a bid to secure promotion.
League One Play-Off Final Predictions
Blackpool Desperate For a Championship Return via League One Play-off Final
Both sides will be eager to secure Championship football next year, with Blackpool (formerly of the Premier League) having been stuck in exile at the bottom tiers of the football pyramid for several seasons now. A win here would give them the chance to finally push back towards where they formerly were.
As for Lincoln, they’re managed by Michael Appleton, a man winning many plaudits for the incredible work he has done at the club. Despite previously being managed by the Cowleys – and doing very well under them – Appleton has taken them one step further and transformed them into an extremely solid side.
They’ve performed to a standard above many others in the league throughout the campaign and bagging Championship football would be an extraordinary feat for the club.
The Tangerines are masters of the play-off system and have proven it again so far, brushing aside Oxford United in the semi-finals. The U’s were thrashed 3-0 in the first leg and despite battling to a 3-3 draw in the second tie, it wasn’t enough and they were duly dumped out of the competition. Blackpool though looked strong and stylish and will be hoping that it is more of the same in the final.
Lincoln Dumped Out Sunderland in League One Play-off Semi-Finals
Lincoln managed to capitalise on some Sunderland misfortune. The Black Cats were one of the favourites for promotion and had improved massively under Lee Johnson. However, they were stunned 2-0 in the first leg and Appleton’s side remained strong in the second fixture, holding out onto an aggregate win despite a 2-1 loss in the game.
The key man for Blackpool has to be Jerry Yates. If anyone is going to bag a winner in the final, fans can bet their bottom dollar it will be this man. With 21 goals in 46 games this season, he’s not only one of the Tangerine’s most prolific players but one of the most prolific in the entire league too.
His finishing ability has come on leaps and bounds and he even bagged a goal in the semi-finals. It would be interesting to see if he can cut it in the second tier.
There are a number of players to highlight as the most important for Lincoln (not choosing Tom Hopper might not go down well) but Jorge Grant is a regular star in the side and his ability is capable of winning the Imps games all by itself. The playmaker is a regular provider of assists and key balls to split the opposition backline. Defensively, his pressing is exceptional. He’s a player most teams would love to have – and he could push Lincoln all the way to promotion.
Lincoln City have not lost in their last three games against the Tangerines – so they know exactly how to stifle and stop them. If they can repeat that on this most important of stages, then that could be the key to them getting the promotion they want.
However, Blackpool are on a superb run themselves of no losses in their last six games. Right now, they’re in familiar play-off territory and are a dangerous beast. Lincoln City have come up against regular-season Blackpool – the club in play-off form is a whole different opponent.
As with any play-off final, it is a difficult match to call. Blackpool have been one of the best teams to watch in League One this season, while Lincoln City have been so solid and are so deserving of promotion into the Championship.
However, this is more familiar territory for the Tangerines. They may be a different set of players but the mentality remains the same – put Blackpool in the play-offs and they seemingly come into their own. They have been unstoppable so far in their last few games (and in the semi-finals) and they could use that good work to fire themselves to victory in the final against City.
A narrow Blackpool win is LWOS’ prediction for the game.