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Nic Ladds 10th May 2010 - 15:25

Forest to fire their way into the final

Blackpool hold a slender 2-1 advantage over Nottingham Forest going in to this play-off semi-final second leg.  The victor will play either Cardiff or Leicester in the play-off final for a place in the big time and a reported windfall of up to £100m.

The first leg was a tempestuous affair with both sides giving it their all. Chris Cohen, who looked a real threat all match, opened the scoring with a stunning curling shot. Blackpool then hit back through a Keith Southern goal from a cross and then Charlie Adam smashed in a penalty to give the Seasiders the slenderest of leads.

Forest will be highly confident of overturning the deficit though, especially given their home record this season. They are unbeaten in 19 league matches on Trentside and have not even conceded a goal at home in eight matches.

At 4/6, Nottm Forest are clear favourites to get the win in 90 minutes and rightly so. Their third place finish had a lot to do with their long stretches of going unbeaten at home. Just three defeats in front other their home fans all season, the joint-second lowest in the league.

Blackpool (10/3) are not the best side away from home, 6 wins, 7 draws and 10 losses in the league this season shows they really needed to see this tie off in the first leg to have any chance of advancing.

Blackpool will take some confidence from the fact they were one of the three teams to come away from Nottingham with maximum points this season. A single goal from Charlie Adam led them to a 1-0 win but Forest did go 20 matches unbeaten in the league after that match.

Forest will welcome back French midfielder Guy Moussi for this clash. Captain Paul McKenna and Chris Cohen should also keep their starting place after returning from injury in the first leg.

Robert Earnshaw should slot back in to the starting line up as Billy Davies' men hunt for goals. Earnshaw (9/2 first goal) and Dexter Blackstock (11/2 first goal) have shared 29 goals between them this season and they will both have to be on form if their team is to progress.

Chris Cohen, who scored one and so very nearly got a late equaliser, is always a decent price to score despite his long range shooting ability. 16/1 looks really good for an each-way punt to score first or 6/1 is available any time.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has no fresh injury concerns. DJ Campbell was a late fitness worry for the first leg but made it through unscathed and actually won Blackpool their penalty. He is 13/2 to score first in what would be a huge goal.

Charlie Adam once again should be top of anyone's list to score first, the Scottish midfielder has 18 goals in all competitions this season and has scored in all three matches these two sides have played this season. He is 7/1 to score first or 2/1 to score any time, as he is the sixth top scorer in the league, the price looks really inviting.

In the last match, I correctly predicted the 2-1 scoreline, and although it is quite rare for me get two right in a row I will be going for a comfortable home win this time. Nottm Forest have by far the better squad and were unlucky to not at least draw the first leg. I think 3-1 is a good outside chance at 12/1 with Blackstock, Earnshaw and Cohen scoring for Forest and Adam scoring for Blackpool for a nice payday!

 

 
 
 

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