For a brief moment after these sides last met there was an overwhelming sense of optimism around the King Power Stadium. Leicester had won comfortably and climbed into the top six for the first time in 18 months. The wisdom of sacking Sven and re-employing Nigel Pearson looked sound.
Then it all went wrong. Leicester’s spell in the playoff places lasted a mere 91 hours. Now eight points adrift, Foxes fans still hoping for a miracle have found encouragement in a bizarre set of results from Tuesday evening. But if this is fate offering the Foxes a helping hand, it’ll take a braver blogger than yours truly to predict they’ll take it.
Having conceded five at Chelsea in their last outing, it’s probably fair to say Nigel Pearson’s preference for Leicester’s next match would not have been in favour of travelling to the Championship’s second best attack. Only Southampton have registered more than Blackpool’s 62 league goals this season, though curiously Ian Holloway’s men have scored more on their travels (32) than they have at home (30).
The Seasiders beat Brighton last time out to maintain their much more serious flirtations with the playoffs. Another win would solidify their claim to a spot in the top six.
Blackpool’s season could have been even more impressive if only they’d been less polite. Holloway’s side have conceded the opening goal in 23 league games this season, a record only ‘bettered’ by Peterborough. Of course they wouldn’t be in the promotion hunt if they hadn’t turned some of those games around and the ‘pool have done so handsomely, picking up a Championship high 29 points from losing positions this season.
Finally, with just 286 fouls to their name Blackpool have been penalised on fewer occasions than any other Championship side. Perhaps Sol Bamba, the Championship player to have conceded more penalties this season than anyone else (3), will be taking notes.