Blackpool v West Ham Head to Head
Blackpool v West Ham Head to Head

Championship teams and next season's Premier League hopefuls Blackpool and West Ham will go head-to-head on Saturday, in a play-off game to decide who gets to play in the country's top flight next season and neither of these sides will be thinking of anything other victory.

Blackpool have had a fairly good campaign this season but were forced to work hard for a narrow 3-2 (agg) win in the semi-finals of the playoffs, against Birmingham City. Although they face a tough game against the Hammers, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said he was proud of his team for having made it so far.

"The minute we did it (at Birmingham), we knew what days to train, what days to give them rest, what days to have all the press and the suits and all of that, so it's been fantastic," the Daily Mail quoted Holloway as saying.

"I really cherish this achievement. In the league we drew with Birmingham and we lost down there and in the play-off games we beat them here and drew down there. We did it in such a pressure situation as well. I couldn't be prouder," he added.

West Ham, on the other hand, will be disappointed at having missed out on the automatic promotion slots (Reading and Southampton have claimed those) by a mere two points, despite scoring the second highest number of goals (81) this season. They then took their disappointment out on Cardiff City, beating the FA Cup finalists 5-0 (agg) win in their semi-finals. They are now only 90 minutes away from returning to the Premier League.

Hammers' manager Sam Allardyce claims his team's Championships play-offs final on Saturday is bigger than the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on the same day.

"The Champions League final is a glory game but this is about your livelihood and about your status. One is a major tournament but this one is about changing people's lives," the Sun quoted Allardyce as saying.

Where to Watch Live:

UK viewers can look to Sky Sports for (paid) streams. In addition, Web sites like and will provide real-time text updates.

Probable Teams

Blackpool: Gilks; Baptiste, Evatt, Eardley, Crainey; M.Phillips, Ferguson, Angel, Ince; Taylor-Fletcher, Dobbie

West Ham: Green; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Taylor; O'Neill, Noble, Nolan, Collison ; Cole, Vaz-Te