Preview: Blackpool vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups By Ben Sully | 6h
Blackpool will face Premier League opposition in their second pre-season friendly, with the Tangerines set to face Leeds United at a neutral venue on Thursday.
The friendly contest at the LNER Community Stadium represents the opening game of pre-season for Leeds, who will fly off to Australia after facing the Tangerines.
After Neil Critchley left his position as Blackpool manager to take up a role as Steve Gerrard's assistant at Aston Villa, the Tangerines appointed Michael Appleton who left his role as Lincoln boss at the end of last season.
Appleton returns to Bloomfield Road for a second stint as Blackpool manager after spending a short spell with the club in the 2021-22 season.
The Tangerines began their pre-season schedule with a 2-0 victory over National League North side Southport on Friday, but they will face a much tougher test on Thursday when they face Premier League opposition.
While Ethan Robson has joined MK Dons on a free transfer, Blackpool are still yet to make a signing ahead of the new season.
Despite the lack of transfer activity, Blackpool still possesses the likes of Gary Madine, Jerry Yates and Shayne Lavery who scored 25 league goals between them last season.
Meanwhile, Jesse Marsch is preparing for his first full season as Leeds boss after being appointed as Marcelo Bielsa's successor at the end of February.
The Yorkshire side secured their Premier League survival with a final day victory over Brentford, ensuring they will participate in the top flight for a third consecutive season.
Leeds are preparing for the upcoming campaign without Kalvin Phillips – who has recently joined Manchester City – while Raphinha has also been linked with a move away from the club this summer.
Although Raphinha could follow Phillips out of the exit door, Leeds have been busy making new additions to the side, with Branden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Darko Gyabi all arriving at Elland Road this summer.
At least a couple of the new additions could be involved on Thursday before they fly out to Australia with the rest of the Leeds squad for friendlies against Brisbane Roar, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Appleton played an entirely different lineup for each half of Saturday's win over Southport, and the Blackpool boss could utilise that strategy once again on Thursday.
Marvin Ekpiteta and Kenneth Dougall could feature in the starting XI after playing in the second half against Southport.
The Tangerines could begin the contest with a front three consisting of Josh Bowler, CJ Hamilton and Yates.
As for Leeds, they could also utilise two different lineups for each half on Thursday, with Marsch looking to give most of the squad available to him some minutes ahead of the trip to Australia.
Having only just returned from the summer break, the players that featured for their countries in June are not expected to play on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Roca could make his first appearance for the club after arriving in the current transfer window.
Leeds United possible starting lineup: Meslier; Drameh, Kock, Struijk, Firpo; Bate, Roca; Summerville, Rodrigo, Harrison; Gelhardt
We say: Blackpool 1-2 Leeds United
With Thursday's contest representing their first friendly of pre-season, Leeds may need a little time to get up to speed, but we think their Premier League quality will eventually shine through to claim a narrow victory over Blackpool.
Preview: Southport vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups
Blackpool will begin their preparations for the 2022-23 campaign with a pre-season contest against National League North outfit Southport on Saturday afternoon.
The Tangerines finished 16th in the Championship last term, while Southport were 12th in the National League North, so they will again play in the sixth tier of English football in 2022-23.
Southport have been in the National League North since their relegation from the National League at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, and they were 12th in the sixth tier last term, boasting 57 points from their 42 matches.
The Port were only six points off the playoffs last term, so they will be bidding to challenge for possible promotion next season, but a lot could depend on their summer business.
Keenan Quansah became their latest signing on Wednesday, with the 25-year-old arriving from Staybridge Celtic, and there is expected to be a lot more movement before the start of their 2022-23 campaign.
Southport have a busy pre-season in terms of fixtures, taking on Blackpool, Lancaster City, Tranmere Rovers, Marine, Bootle, Bolton Wanderers and Everton before the end of next month.
Liam Watson's side will certainly be the underdogs heading into Saturday's affair, but it will be an excellent opportunity for the players to test themselves against Championship opposition.
Blackpool, meanwhile, finished 16th in the Championship last term, picking up 60 points from their 46 matches, which left them 23 points clear of the relegation zone and 15 points off the playoffs.
Michael Appleton will lead the Tangerines into the new campaign, with the 46-year-old becoming the club's manager for the second time in June, replacing Neil Critchley at the helm.
Blackpool are yet to make a first-team signing this summer, but there have been departures, with Ethan Robson, Grant Ward and Cameron Antwi among those leaving the club.
The Seasiders will take on Southport, Leeds United, Rangers, Salford City and Everton as part of their preparations for the new campaign before starting their Championship season on July 30.
Blackpool will face Reading and Stoke City in their opening two matches of the new campaign before facing Barrow in the first round of the EFL Cup on August 8.
Southport form (all competitions): L D W L D W
Blackpool form (all competitions): L W D W L L
Jordan Archer scored 15 league goals for Southport last season, and the 28-year-old is expected to feature in the final third of the field for the hosts, with George Newell also set to start.
Quansah only joined the club on Wednesday but is expected to feature on Saturday, while Adam Anson, Charlie Oliver and Jack Doyle are also likely to start at the back against the Tangerines.
Blackpool, meanwhile, are yet to make a first-team signing, so there will not be any new faces on display, with a familiar lineup set to take to the field for the first whistle.
There will be opportunities to impress for a number of youngsters, but the likes of Gary Madine and Jerry Yates should also be involved in the team's first pre-season clash.
Teenager Robert Apter is likely to feature in midfield, while Kenneth Dougall should also play, with the 29-year-old again a key player for the club during the 2021-22 campaign.
Blackpool are expected to have a strong squad for this match, so we are finding it difficult to back anything other than a win for the Championship side. That said, Southport will be competitive opposition, and we are expecting it to be a tight contest on Saturday afternoon.