So, a new season begins, one of hope and expectation. A good pre-season for the Grecians has lightened the mood amongst fans, and with some of the older players departing and some new young blood joining the squad there is a an optimism in the air.
Blackpool have nearly always been a top or second flight club, with the occasional forays in to the 3rd and 4th tier of English football in the late 1970, mid 1980 and at the start of the new millennium. They famously won the FA Cup in 1953, which is known as the ‘Matthews Final’, and they have also managed to get promoted out of each tier via the play-offs.
A brief sojourn in the Premiership for the 2010/11 season has been followed by a decline and last season relegation to the 4th tier. Many of the fans are at loggerheads with the Oyston family who own the Club and many fans are now actively boycotting home games.
Blackpool are also unbeaten in their pre-season, winning 3 and drawing 3. However their fans are pessimistic for the season, and the bookies are not predicting a top 7 finish either. Manager Gary Bowyer will have his work cut out if he is aiming for promotion.
Exeter go in to the game, with two injury concerns, Lee Holmes and the captain Jordan Moore-Taylor both suffered injuries in the pre-season friendly against Cardiff City and are doubtful starters.
The two clubs have played each other 14 times in league games, with Exeter’s record being won 4, drawn 4 and lost 6. The two clubs met in the League Cup in Exeter’s very successful 1989/90 season, with Exeter coming out 3-0 winners and going on to play Sunderland in the fourth round. The last league encounter was towards the end of the 2000/01 season with Exeter winning 2-0. Details of that match can be found here.
The bookies make Blackpool favourites to win this game at 6/5 with Exeter at 23/10 to win.
Information on the match officials can be found at http://www.exeweb.com/2016/08/02/match-officials-blackpool-vs-exeter-city/