Scout report: Why Sunderland could find Blackpool a tough nut to crack at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland welcome Blackpool to the Stadium of Light tonight - but what should they expect?

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 11:47 am
Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips.

The Tangerines have found some decent form in recent weeks and are up to eighth in League One, four points off the play-off places.

Sunderland claimed a 1-0 win when the sides met at Bloomfield Road on New Year's Day but Terry McPhillips' side haven't lost in the league since then.

We take a closer look at the Tangerines ahead of the clash on Wearside

What system will Blackpool play?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Tangerines have operated with a back four and a back three this campaign but have predominately played in a compact 4-3-3 formation.

Despite several injuries in recent months, Terry McPhillips' side have kept 15 clean sheets in 30 league games this season - the best record in League One.

Their midfield trio of Jay Spearing, Ollie Turton and Jordan Thompson provide protection in front of Blackpool's rearguard.

Ahead of them forwards Nathan Delfouneso and Armand Gnanduillet possess pace and power up front

Who are Blackpool's key players?

Defenders Ben Heneghan and Curtis Tilt have been key for Blackpool at the back.

In front of them, Spearing has been instrumental in the middle of the park but will miss the game with a knee injury.

Gnanduillet is the club's top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions but has netted just one goal in his last 10 league games.

Do Blackpool have any injury worries?

The Tangerines had several players out when the sides met each other at Bloomfield Road last month.

They look to be in better shape this time around, though Jimmy Ryan (knee) and Max Clayton (hamstring) remain out after suffering long-term setbacks.

Spearing will miss the next month after picking up an injury against Wycombe while midfielder Callum Guy (ankle) remains doubtful.

Who is Blackpool's manager and what can we expect from them?McPhillips took charge of Blackpool on an interim basis after Gary Bowyer left the club following the opening day of the season.

Blackpool then went on an eight-match unbeaten run before McPhillips was given a 12-month rolling contract in September.

The 49-year-old was also Bowyer's assistant at Blackburn but this is his first managerial role.

What form have Blackpool been in?

Since their defeat to Sunderland at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool have gone on a five-game unbeaten run in the league.

Their victory over Walsall last time out saw the Tangerines move to within four points of the play-offs.

Last six league games: LWDWDW