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Blackpool reverse first fixture after worries over home improvements

| 12.07.2010

Blackpool fans eager to watch top flight football at Bloomfield Road for the first ime since 1971 will have to wait just that little bit longer after the Premier League agreed to switch their opening day fixture with Wigan Athletic to the DW Stadium.

The Tangarines are now 10/3 to win their first game, an away rather than home tie, with a Wigan victory priced at 8/11.

The decision to reverse the game came after Blackpool bosses suggested Bloomfield Road might not be ready for the start of the new campaign on August 14th.

Ian Holloway’s promoted team are undertaking a series of ground improvements to ready the stadium for the step up, but, at 1/4, they are favourites to go back down come May anyway.

Blackpool will now begin the season with two away games, against Wigan and Arsenal, and such an opening won’t get them hitting the ground running as a home start might have.

Just ask Hull City, who beat Fulham 2-1 at the KC Stadium in their first fixture and managed to stay up after gaining promotion in a similarly unlikely scenario.

The first time Holloway will select a team for a home game will also be against Fulham on August 28th, while the corresponding match with Wigan will be on April 16th.

The manager has wisely turned his attentions to building secure foundations of a different kind, with a bid to get Blackpool the defensive rock they desperately need.

Reports suggest the Tangarines are poised to sign Israel international Dekel Keinan, who is currently plying his trade with Maccabi Haifa.

A new centre-back is just what the side need, having shipped a whopping 58 goals in the Championship last season. They are 12/1 to lose 3-0 at Wigan.

The 25-year-old is understood to have impressed Holloway during a trial and the exuberant boss is ready to make the central defender his first signing of the summer.

Keinan is highly-regarded in Israel and was linked with a move to Bolton in 2007, but he opted to stay in his native country, who he has played for 15 times.

Blackpool must get off to a good start in the Premier League and with their first fixture reversed should be content with a draw against Wigan. That’s a 10/3 price. See the full Premier League betting market.



John Klee