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Preview: Southport vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Southport vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Club Friendlies 1 clash between Southport and Blackpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Blackpool will begin their preparations for the 2022-23 campaign with a pre-season contest against National League North outfit Southport on Saturday afternoon.

The Tangerines finished 16th in the Championship last term, while Southport were 12th in the National League North, so they will again play in the sixth tier of English football in 2022-23.

Match preview

Southport have been in the National League North since their relegation from the National League at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, and they were 12th in the sixth tier last term, boasting 57 points from their 42 matches.

The Port were only six points off the playoffs last term, so they will be bidding to challenge for possible promotion next season, but a lot could depend on their summer business.

Keenan Quansah became their latest signing on Wednesday, with the 25-year-old arriving from Staybridge Celtic, and there is expected to be a lot more movement before the start of their 2022-23 campaign.

Southport have a busy pre-season in terms of fixtures, taking on Blackpool, Lancaster City, Tranmere Rovers, Marine, Bootle, Bolton Wanderers and Everton before the end of next month.

Liam Watson's side will certainly be the underdogs heading into Saturday's affair, but it will be an excellent opportunity for the players to test themselves against Championship opposition.

Blackpool, meanwhile, finished 16th in the Championship last term, picking up 60 points from their 46 matches, which left them 23 points clear of the relegation zone and 15 points off the playoffs.

Michael Appleton will lead the Tangerines into the new campaign, with the 46-year-old becoming the club's manager for the second time in June, replacing Neil Critchley at the helm.

Blackpool are yet to make a first-team signing this summer, but there have been departures, with Ethan Robson, Grant Ward and Cameron Antwi among those leaving the club.

The Seasiders will take on Southport, Leeds United, Rangers, Salford City and Everton as part of their preparations for the new campaign before starting their Championship season on July 30.

Blackpool will face Reading and Stoke City in their opening two matches of the new campaign before facing Barrow in the first round of the EFL Cup on August 8.

Southport form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Blackpool form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Jordan Archer scored 15 league goals for Southport last season, and the 28-year-old is expected to feature in the final third of the field for the hosts, with George Newell also set to start.

Quansah only joined the club on Wednesday but is expected to feature on Saturday, while Adam Anson, Charlie Oliver and Jack Doyle are also likely to start at the back against the Tangerines.

Blackpool, meanwhile, are yet to make a first-team signing, so there will not be any new faces on display, with a familiar lineup set to take to the field for the first whistle.

There will be opportunities to impress for a number of youngsters, but the likes of Gary Madine and Jerry Yates should also be involved in the team's first pre-season clash.

Teenager Robert Apter is likely to feature in midfield, while Kenneth Dougall should also play, with the 29-year-old again a key player for the club during the 2021-22 campaign.

Southport possible starting lineup:
Mason; Oliver, Doyle, Quansah, Anson; Woods, Munro, Vassallo, Walton; Archer, Newell

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Connolly, Husband, Gabriel, Garbutt; Dale, Apter, Dougall, Stewart; Madine, Yates

We say: Southport 1-2 Blackpool

Blackpool are expected to have a strong squad for this match, so we are finding it difficult to back anything other than a win for the Championship side. That said, Southport will be competitive opposition, and we are expecting it to be a tight contest on Saturday afternoon.

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