Just two seasons ago, Ian Holloway’s newly-promoted Blackpool FC were sitting atop the Premier League on the first day of the season after a 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic. The euphoria was short-lived, after Chelsea stole top spot with a 6-0 victory over West Brom later that day, but it set the tone for a season of highs and lows for the Tangerines. For the latest Championship football betting odds, visit Skybet.com.
While they won many neutrals over with their positive approach, and took some notable scalps including defeats of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, a long run of defeats in the second half of the season saw them slip towards relegation. In the end, they were relegated with a creditable 39 points, beating bookmaker’s predictions that they wouldn’t even get ten points over the whole season.
Lesser managers would have buckled under the strain of relegation, but Blackpool’s inspirational manager Ian Holloway returned to the Championship with renewed determination. Having sold star midfielder Charlie Adam to Liverpool for £7 million, he used some of those funds to buy his international team-mate Barry Ferguson, who inherited the captain’s armband and has brought solidity and drive to the central midfield role.
A string of stirring performances in the Championship saw Holloway’s Blackpool earn a play-off place, only for them to narrowly miss out on promotion with a play-off final defeat to Sam Allardyce’s West Ham. This season, they will be looking to go one better and secure an automatic promotion place, but they will face some stern competition in the form of newly relegated Wolves, Blackburn, and Bolton, all of whom have a decent chance of gaining promotion at the first attempt.
Big-spending Leicester are 13-2 favourites with Skybet to win the league this season, closely followed by Bolton and Leeds at 8-1. Blackpool are an outside bet at 16-1 to win the league outright, but are still considered to be strong candidates for promotion by attaining second place or winning the play-offs at 5-1. They should have enough quality to stave off relegation, and have been priced at 16-1 to finish in the bottom three – the same odds as them winning the league outright.