MATCH PREVIEW: Blackpool v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

The final day has arrived for the League One season with Bristol Rovers knowing anything but a win will see them finish bottom of the division.

The Gas go to third place Blackpool on 38 points, with 23rd placed Swindon two points ahead of them.

One positive Rovers will be taking into the new campaign though is that the sale of Jonson Clarke-Harris last summer has landed them a six-figure sum plus 50k in add ons thanks to Peterborough’s and Clarke-Harris’ fantastic season.

Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony confirmed the news on the Hard Truth Podcast.

“We will be paying out £1.2 million in bonuses to players, management staff and other clubs,” MacAnthony told the Hard Truth podcast.

“The club thing is a good thing. I always throw in add-ons when I buy players as I’m happy to spread the wealth among lower league clubs.

“Bristol Rovers will get a six-figure sum for us winning promotion from the terms of the Jonson Clarke-Harris deal and they’ll get £50k for him winning the League One Golden Boot.

“The Bristol Rovers chairman took time out to send me congratulations on winning promotion by the way. He’s a classy guy.”

Rovers go into the game with injury doubts for goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola. If unfit, then its likely Joe Day will be making the final appearance of his loan spell. With Blackpool still having places in the top six to play for, it is unlikely Barton will experiment with his side too much.

Blackpool go into the game having secured a place in the top six in midweek with a win over Doncaster.

The Tangerines had a difficult start to the league season that left them in the bottom half of the table following the reverse fixture between the sides back in January.

But a return of 50 points in the 25 games since has seen Blackpool rise to third in the league table.

Neil Critchley’s side will now have an opportunity to return to the second tier for the first time since 2015.

Ellis Simms was the match winner on Tuesday night and the striker, on loan from Everton, gave his thoughts on how the season since January has gone.

“It was a great result and one we can all be proud of,” Simms told the club’s website.

“We knew we needed a point on the night to secure our place in the play-offs, but we managed to get the win. I think overall, we’ve had a successful season up to this point, but there is still a lot of work to do.

“In being third at this stage, the table reflects just how well the team has done over the past six months or so, and we can be really pleased with where we are at the moment.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here since joining in January. My main objective was to play and help the team push on as much as I can, and I managed to do that on Tuesday.”

Blackpool boss Critchley has no new injury concerns ahead of the game and could well name an unchanged team. Kevin Stewart was substituted after only coming onto the field twenty minutes prior but Critchley confirmed this was down to him receiving a yellow card and he was being cautious.

Lineup Predictions:

Blackpool Predicted XI (5-3-2): Maxwell (GK), Gabriel, Ballard, Thorniley, Husband, Garbutt, Turton, Dougall, Embleton, Simms, Yates

Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (4-3-3):

Score Predictions:

Max: Blackpool 4-0 The Gas

Mets: Blackpool 3-0 The Gas

Sam: Blackpool 2-0 The Gas