It’s been almost ten years since Albion locked swords with Blackpool. In the summer of 2010, the Roberto di Matteo’s Baggies finished runners-up to Newcastle United in the Championship to win promotion and, a few weeks later, Ian Holloway’s Blackpool beat Cardiff City in the play off final to join them in the Premier League.
2010/11 is the Tangerines’ only top flight season since 1967 – Holloway ultimately failed to keep them up but, when they beat Albion 2-1 at Bloomfield Road at the beginning of November, they sat in a comfortable ninth place. That result had a lot to do with first half red cards for Gonzalo Jara (pictured) and Pablo Ibáñez which left Di Matteo’s team with nine men for more than an hour, but it was the start of the end for the Italian as Albion won just three of eighteen games to cost him his job.
Saturday will see the 89th meeting between the two clubs, with the first taking place at the same venue, Bloomfield Road, for a Division Two fixture in October 1901. That finished 2-2 and it wasn’t until their seventh attempt, in November 1906, that Blackpool recorded a victory.
Both clubs enjoyed a successful period during the 1950s and it was in 1956 that the Seasiders recorded their record win over Albion, 5-1 at Bloomfield Road with the great Stanley Matthews amongst the scorers a month after his 41st birthday.
Later that season, the clubs met for the first time in the FA Cup. This season is the sixth time that they have been drawn together, and three of the previous five have needed a replay, including that first clash in the fifth round in 1957. It finished 0-0 at Bloomfield Road before the Baggies won 2-1 at the Hawthorns – four of Albion’s five cup ties that season went to a replay, including their semi-final defeat to eventual winners, Aston Villa.
Albion have progressed on four of the five occasions that the clubs have met in the FA Cup, but only once have they done so at Blackpool’s ground, a 1-0 win in a third round replay in 1964 thanks to a goal by Ronnie Fenton.
The most recent cup meeting took place in the third round in 1978. A brace from Willie Johnston sandwiched a Cyrille Regis strike and a Bomber Brown penalty as the Baggies won 4-1 at the Hawthorns. Skipper, John Wile, was in caretaker charge that day with Ron Atkinson taking charge in time for the next game.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
15 Jan 2011 – Premier League
West Brom 3 (Odemwingie (2), Morrison)
Blackpool 2 (Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher)
Last meeting at Blackpool
1 Nov 2010 – Premier League
Blackpool 2 (Adam (pen), Varney)
West Brom 1 (Mulumbu)
Last win at Blackpool
3 Feb 2010 – League Championship
Blackpool 2 (Southern, Dobbie)
West Brom 3 (Bednár (2), Dorrans (pen))
Albion’s Record against Blackpool
If you cannot see the tables, click here.