FA Cup

Bloomfield Road

Saturday 9th January 2021 -  15:00
Blackpool
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West Brom
Key Events

    6th January

    Sam Allardyce's Baggies begin their Emirates FA Cup journey with a trip to Sky Bet League One outfit Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Saturday afternoon (ko 3pm). 

    Their last time out

    Blackpool ensured progression to the third round after a convincing 4-0 away win against Sky Bet League Two side Harrogate Town.

    Four second-half goals proved to be enough to see off the Yorkshire outfit, who ended the game with 10 men. But the Tangerines’ recent league form has seen them go three games without a win after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers last weekend.

    In the dugout

    Neil Critchley was appointed as the Seasiders’ head coach in March, 2020.

    After a staggered season at the helm due to the consequences of Covid-19, Critchley finished his first term in charge of Blackpool in 13th place.

    The 42-year-old had previously spent the majority of his coaching career with reigning Premier League champions, Liverpool. Critchley began as under-18s boss at Anfield in 2013 before moving onto the 23s side and has also overseen first-team duties in recent years.

    The Reds’ involvement overseas in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019 meant Critchley took over senior affairs in the EFL Cup quarter-finals with manager Jurgen Klopp away. Critchley managed a predominantly U23s-based side which lost 5-0 to Aston Villa. He also stepped in during Liverpool’s mid-season break in February 2020, for their FA Cup clash with Shrewsbury Town.

    One to watch

    Forward Jerry Yates is Blackpool’s joint-top scorer this season.

    Five of the former Rotherham academy graduate’s six goals have come during wins this season, with one against Eastbourne setting the Seasiders on their way in the Emirates FA Cup.

    Yates is joint on six goals so far with fellow target man, Gary Madine and both will be keen to boost confidence by making a scoring start to the new year.

    Our last meeting

    Our last meeting with Saturday’s opponents came nearly a decade ago during their only season in the Premier League. The Baggies ran out 3-2 winners at The Hawthorns back in January, 2011.

    However, Roman Bednar’s inspired display on the west coast was Albion’s last successful trip to the seaside. The forward netted a brace before Graham Dorrans’ late penalty secured another 3-2 win against the Tangerines in February, 2010.

    Stats

    Blackpool

    • Blackpool have won just one of the previous eight FA Cup ties against Albion.
    • The Tangerines have scored just one in their last three matches.
    • Neil Critchley’s side haven’t lost a game at Bloomfield Road since late October.

    Albion

    • The Baggies last failed to score at Bloomfield Road in March, 1975.
    • Albion have scored eight goals in their last four encounters with Blackpool.
    • Charlie Austin has had four direct goal involvements during the five matches he’s played against the Seasiders (scoring three and providing one assist).

    Head to head

      Blackpool wins Draw Albion wins
    League 30 12 38
    FA Cup 1 3 4
    Total 31 15 42

    Our one to watch

    Rekeem Harper will be determined to force his way into Sam Allardyce’s starting XI this season.

    The midfielder was a regular fixture during Albion’s EFL Cup fixtures at the beginning of the campaign, scoring a great goal against Harrogate during a 3-0 win.

    And after going close to netting a late consolation after coming on as a substitute during Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Arsenal, the 20-year-old - along with several others first-team players - will want to make a positive impression on the gaffer.

    Follow the game

    Gez Mulholland will be joined by once midfield-now-microphone maestro Andy Johnson to provide proudly partisan commentary and an expert insight for WBA Radio.

    To listen live to Baggies-biased commentary on WBA Radio for free for every home and away match during the 2020/21 season all you have to do is sign up for a free My Albion account.

    If you haven't already you can create your My Albion account here. Click Create Account or register quickly with your Facebook or Google account. 

    Live commentary starts from 15 minutes before kick-off and will be accessible through the live match centre or WBA TV.

    If you have any issues registering or accessing your My Albion account please contact myalbion@wbafc.co.uk.

    The game is also available to watch on BT Sport.

    9th January

    Albion went out of the Emirates FA Cup after losing 3-2 on penalties to Sky Bet League One side Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. 

    The hosts took the lead just before the interval thanks to Jerry Yates' low finish, but the Baggies equalised shortly into the second half thanks to Semi Ajayi's header. 

    Gary Madine restored the home side's lead as the Seasiders looked to see off the contest in normal time, but Matheus Pereira converted a penalty with 10 minutes remaining to ensure the game went to extra-time. 

    Neither side could be separated over the additional 30 minutes as the game went to penalties, and Chris Maxwell's save from Pereira's spot-kick meant Blackpool progressed to the fourth round of the competition.  

    Only Ajayi, Pereira, Conor Gallagher and Lee Peltier kept their places in the XI as Sam Allardyce made seven changes from last weekend’s Premier League game against Arsenal.

    It was the hosts who created the first couple of openings, with strikers Madine and Yates both firing off-target from range.

    Albion then grew into the tie and had a few chances themselves - Gallagher dragging narrowly wide, Pereira seeing a free-kick saved and Filip Krovinovic fizzing narrowly over.

    Yet, four minutes before half-time and against the run of play, Blackpool edged in front as Yates took advantage of a loose ball inside the area to fire his side a goal up.

    And though they were ahead at the break, their lead was wiped out just seven minutes in to the second period - Ajayi guiding a well placed header home following a clever corner routine.

    As we reached the hour mark the game was there for the taking as both sides exchanged blows, with Kamil Grosicki shooting straight at Chris Maxwell before, down the other end, Yates missed from close-range.

    The Tangerines were the team to score next as a quick counter attack was finished cooly by Madine on 66 minutes.

    But again Albion responded, this time from 12-yards when Pereira placed his penalty confidently into the corner to make it 2-2 and send the game in to extra-time.

    Substitute Kyle Edwards came closest to winning it, his powerful shot forcing a superb one-handed save from Maxwell, however the teams still couldn’t be separated after the additional 30 minutes and the clash went to penalties.

    And it was Blackpool that prevailed to the fourth round, netting three of their spot-kicks to Albion’s two and earning a place in Monday night’s draw.

     

    Albion: Button, Peltier (O’Shea 96), Bartley (Sawyers 61), Ivanovic (Kipre 72), Gibbs (Furlong 45); Livermore, Ajayi, Gallagher (Edwards 61); Krovinovic, Pereira, Grosicki.

    Substitutes: Lonergan, Harmon, Harper, Richards.