No-one could accuse Blackpool of being boring.
Unconfirmed reports this week suggested that a thousand tickets for Neil Diamond's concert at Bloomfield Road were printed with the wrong date on them. With boycotts mooted by Blackpool supporters this year, perhaps the club might do the same for league matches.
Ian Holloway's 2010 team unexpectedly won promotion to the Premier League, and for a few months his free-flowing side were a breath of fresh air. Since then, however, it's all gone very wrong. Relegation quickly followed, and a second one was narrowly avoided on the last day of last season thanks to results elsewhere, as Jose Riga's Charlton strolled past them 3-0. Today the Seasiders find themselves 8 points from safety at the bottom of the table.
Riga of course was to swap teams before the start of the season, but well-documented recruitment problems saw him a week away from their first game with just 6 senior players on the books. Unsurprisingly Riga struggled for results, but many Blackpool fans looked past Riga towards chairman Karl Oyston, who they feel failed to take the opportunity to improve the infrastructure afforded by the riches just one Premiership season brings a football club. Notably our counterparts at Blackpool's Supporters' Trust recently joined forces with Blackpool Supporters Association to try to effect some positive change in that direction.
In the meantime, Oyston carries on business as usual. Gentleman Riga has now been replaced by the interminably dour Lee Clark, Oyston's 8th manager in just over 2 years. Clark has overseen just one win so far - against the Birmingham side he left just one place above the Seasiders - but Blackpool are on a mini-run of 3 games unbeaten and shouldn't be underestimated.
Their team will be unrecognisable from the one they put out back in May, with former Barnsley midfielder David Perkins the sole survivor from that game likely to start on Saturday. Perkins of course has impressed against Charlton in the past, but it seems unlikely that he will cause as many problems from the left-sided position he has been playing recently.
Blackpool's main threat could be Steve Davies, who scored his first goal of the season against Rotherham and followed it up with the winner against Birmingham last week. However Charlton's mean defence will offer a considerably greater challenge for him and his colleagues.
At the back, goalkeeper Joe Lewis is making good fist of getting his career back on track after fracturing his kneecap in 2011. Despite struggling for action in recent seasons, Lewis is rediscovering his form with a run of 19 games for Blackpool this season, and at his very best will be a formidable barrier. He wouldn't be the first keeper this year to save a great performance for (and perform great saves at) the Valley. At his best Lewis is a formidable barrier, and he seems to be rediscovering some of the form of his earlier career with a run of 19 games at Blackpool, having previously struggled for action since fracturing a kneecap in 2011.
Charlton will be relatively buoyant after a very creditable away draw against a strong Forest side. Indeed quicker reactions from Lawrie Wilson might have seen the Addicks come away with three points, but conversion of chances will be one of Bob Peeters's concerns ahead of the match. Callum Harriot, who was one of the bright stars at the City Ground, will be looking forward to playing Blackpool again, and he’ll be aiming to repeat his first career hattrick. Igor Vetokele too is due a goal, although question marks over his fitness remain. With Johnnie Jackson out, Jordan Cousins is likely to move to his favoured central midfield position, with Lawrie Wilson the prime candidate to replace him on the flanks.
Our prediction: A game of two halves once again, but Charlton prevail for a 2-1 win.