Curtis Davies is available again after serving his suspension but Stephen Carr is likely to miss out again.
Blackpool will again be missing goalkeeper Matt Gilks who has a groin problem.
The two clubs last met only one month ago at Bloomfield Road where the match ended 2-2 draw. Nikola Zigic scored an 87th minute equaliser after Blackpool took a 2-1 lead following Marlon King’s opener.
Blues draw on Boxing Day kept the unbeaten home run going but it is now only one win in six in the league.
Blackpool have moved up to 7th with a run that has seen them lose only once in their last six. Away from home they have won three and drawn five.
In the end it was probably a good point against West Ham as we could have quite easily have lost that game and the unbeaten home record. Our home record is going to be more and more important to us as we just don’t look like picking up too many points on our travels. I’m really not sure why that is though as we seem to play the same way. Maybe we get away with defensive lapses more at home as teams don’t attack us so much. Blackpool will attack us though as it is the only way they play. We will need to be strong at the back and the return of Curtis Davies will help that.
It looks like Stephen Carr will again be missing so Jonathan Spector will be at right back. While we will miss Carr’s experience and marauding runs down the right this does help us in other ways by allowing others to be in central midfield. I am much happier with N’Daw or Gomis there particularly N’Daw who has impressed in recent weeks. I’m not sure whether we will be able to hold onto him so we should play him while we can. The same goes for Chris Wood who we are currently in negotiations with West Brom about to extend his loan. With two games in two days coming up we will need to mix it up a bit but I would go for the strongest line up in this game as Blackpool are one of our rivals for a playoff place. Ex Blue Kevin Phillips has not featured much in the last few weeks but we will have to keep an eye out for Matt Phillips who scored a hat trick in their last match.
So this will be our last game of 2011. A year which featured the amazing high of the Carling Cup triumph and the lows of an avoidable relegation and our subsequent financial woes. Will we ever see a year like that again? Here’s to going out with a bang.
My prediction Blues 2 Blackpool 1
C’mon you blue boys and Happy New Year.