As a West Ham fan, this one game is the biggest in years, this last season has been miserable,we were expected to run away with the league and instead we are hoping to sneak into the Premier league via the back door.
The game is worth 90 Million to the winner,I’m just hoping that money will be heading into West Ham hands by the time the final whistle blows on Saturday.
If football was predictable West Ham should win easily,they have beaten Blackpool 8 – 1 over the two games this season,last season we beat them 3 – 1 away,so as results go,they seem to be our lucky team.
Then there is the Ian Hollaway factor to bring into it,he is celebrated by most neutrals because his team play full flowing,attacking football,compared to West Ham,you could call Blackpool our Nemesis,we focus on controlling the game,making the most of set pieces and not conceding goals.
When both teams were relegated last year,West ham kept most of their key players,as well as spending a lot on improving the team,Blackpool lost a lot of their key players,and have made it to the final based on team spirit.
I predict West Ham will win the game 4 – 2 (Key men) Tomkins – Nolan – Cole
The BBC Report –
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says the Championship play-off final is bigger than the Champions League final.
The Hammers face Blackpool for a place in the Premier League on Saturday.
He told BBC London 94.9: “I think it means more to both clubs and their livelihoods. The Champions League is massive, but it’s a cup competition.
“We missed out on automatic promotion but to do it this way, as hard as it is, would give great satisfaction”
“This is 11 months of hard work and planning to make sure we have a brilliant season, not a disappointing one. That makes it much bigger.”
The play-off final is often referred to as “the richest game in football”, with an estimated £40m windfall awaiting the side who wins the showpiece game.
Should the Upton Park outfit miss out on an automatic return to the top flight, Allardyce admits his playing budget is likely to be cut next season.
“Every football club, year-in, year-out, has to cut its cloth accordingly,” he added.
“It has to look at what its income streams are and adjust to what they will be.
“[Co-chairmen] David Gold and David Sullivan have put their hands in their pockets and whether they can sustain it if we don’t go up is another matter.
“I hope that’s not what we’re thinking about on Saturday night.”
Allardyce has experience of winning promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs, having achieved the feat with Bolton Wanderers at the Millennium Stadium in 2001.
“It feels like it was almost yesterday,” Allardyce said. “It was such a pleasure to achieve the ultimate goal and manage in the top league in the world and test my skills.
“I want to feel that feeling again if I can. It’s why I came here.
“We missed out on automatic promotion but to do it this way, as hard as it is, would give great satisfaction.”
Blackpool’s Kevin Phillips eyes long-awaited play-off win
Historically, Kevin Phillips is not fond of play-off finals.
His record reads: played two, lost two.
But the trip to Wembley on Saturday, when Blackpool play West Ham for a place in the Premier League, gives the 38-year-old a chance to right the wrongs of defeats with Sunderland in 1998 and West Bromwich Albion in 2007.
“I’m certainly looking forward to it,” Phillips told BBC Sport. “At this stage of my career, I’m enjoying every day, let alone looking forward to a play-off final.
“To still be mixing it with excellent players and the club going to a final is magical for me.
“The Premier League is the place to be. It’s a huge occasion for the players because I would say it’s the most expensive game in world soccer. There’s a lot of pressure on but it would mean everything to the football club.”