Blackpool v Oxford United: Tangerines look a safe bet for second win on Friday

Bloomfield Road
Bloomfield Road stages the return leg on Friday night

Alan Dudman called the Blackpool result correctly in the first game against Oxford, and he is siding with the Tangerines once again to make the Wembley final...

"Blackpool have been masters all season at exploiting the weakness of their opponents and in Chris Maxwell, who was singled out for particular praise by Critchley, they have an immense player."

Blackpool v Oxford United
Friday 21st May, kick-off 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football

Critchley's men look unbeatable

Following the first leg 0-3 triumph at the Kassam, Blackpool are almost there in securing their place at Wembley. Two goals from Ellis Timms and an Ollie Turton rarity from a set-piece has put Neil Critchley's side in a superb position. Especially with the return game at home.

Critchley admitted that the three goals were more than he had hoped for prior to Tuesday, but it took their tally in the play-offs to 17 wins from 24 games. Those are impressive post-season numbers.

Some of their play at the Kassam was scintilating at times and was thoroughly deserved. And once again the league's best defence showed their mettle and ability with yet another shut-out. Oxford were restricted to just one shot on target - something we had highlighted before the game as the U's are often fairly easy to play against when Matty Taylor is isolated. I'm just a tiny bit frustrated by my conservative selection of the Double Chance at 1.84/5. A win is a win, but in hindsight, I wish I had been braver with an outright selection.

It's all systems go with the Tangerines.

Oxford to fail again

With 57% of the ball and hardly a worthwhile attempt, Oxford face an uphill struggle with a bag of rocks attached to them. U's manager Karl Robinson admitted his team looked fatigued, although I wouldn't offer that as the be-all-and-end-all excuse, as Blackpool on occasions looked leggy themselves.

Maybe it was a bit of nerves and emotion, but Oxford had 14 players in their squad from the final 12 months ago, and they let their backers down badly as the favourites.

The stats look hopeless too, as the nine teams have lost by three goals or more have never made it through to the final. It would be something of a miracle if they overcome the deficit, and they trade at 60.059/1 in the Promotion Market. With Blackpool now favourites at 1.9520/21.

Match odds

Straight away the 2.3811/8 on the hosts looks a great price. Oxford may have scored 24 goals in their final seven league matches as the third-highest scorers in the division, but Blackpool have done a number on them all season without conceding a goal.

The U's also have a couple of injury doubts with the unlucky Sam Winnall and Cameron Brannagan both struggling with hamstring injuries.

Blackpool have been masters all season at exploiting the weakness of their opponents and in Chris Maxwell, who was singled out for particular praise by Critchley, they have an immense player.

The prices are reversed from the first leg, but you can have 5.04/1 with me for Oxford, as I just cannot see them winning this at all.

Tangerines dreaming of another clean sheet

Backing a clean sheet and siding with a Win To Nil bet can often be foiled early, but we can back Blackpool's defence with a bit of confidence here. Winning the first-leg 3-0 was another shut-out against their favourite opponents, and they can do the same again with the league's tightest backline.

Robinson will have to change something even though they had plenty of the ball at the Kassam, but I am tempted to lay Taylor here in the To Score market at around 2.56/4. Anything bigger I will shy away from.

If you are looking for a wager in terms of scoring for the hosts, Jerry Yates was mentioned for the first-leg, while Ellis Timms and his double put him in the frame. Backing Turton again will take a leap of faith, as his goal came from nowhere.

In terms of a Bet Builder selection, Yates To Score first and Blackpool to win pays 7.13 on the Sportsbook.

Back Yates to Score First and Blackpol to win Bet Builder @ 7.13


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Alan Dudman's P and L

League One 2020/21: -7.39pts
FA Cup 2020/21 (1pt): +10.42pts
2017/18 to 2019-2020: +42.24pts

*League One bets to a 0.5pt stake

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