Preview: Blackpool vs. Oxford United

Preview: Blackpool vs. Oxford United

Blackpool head into the second leg of their League One playoff semi-final with Oxford United already on the brink of reaching the final later this month.

The Tangerines recorded a 3-0 victory in Tuesday’s first leg, leaving their opponents requiring a near-miracle to remain competitive at Bloomfield Road.

Ahead of a tie between two teams in form, many people were expecting small margins to decide which of Blackpool or Oxford would earn a place at Wembley Stadium.

However, the former made a mockery of the pre-match predictions on Tuesday night, emerging as 3-0 victors after a ruthless performance at the Kassam Stadium.

While Ellis Simms’s double stood out, Neil Critchley refused to single anyone out after their fifth successive triumph in the third tier.

Blackpool have also gone 487 minutes of football without conceding a goal, the most important statistic ahead of looking to avoid shipping three strikes on Friday night.

Simms, who is on loan from Everton, has now contributed 10 goals from 23 appearances since departing Goodison Park on a temporary basis at the start of 2021.

From Oxford’s perspective, Karl Robinson knows that his team have it all to do if they want to avoid a second year of disappointment in the playoffs.

Having created the same amount of chances as Blackpool, the U’s boss felt that his side were undeserving of such a demoralising setback in front of their returning supporters.

Nevertheless, Robinson also spoke about the benefit of being “fearless” ahead of the trip to the North-West as they bid to pull off an unlikely comeback.

Oxford scored 24 goals during their final seven games of the regular season, a return which will ensure that Blackpool do not take them lightly at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool League One form:
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Oxford United League One form:
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