If West Ham are to get themselves out of relegation trouble this is the sort of fixture that they absolutely must capitalise on. Blackpool have been bright and breezy this season, but are only six points clear of the Hammers, such is the tightly packed nature of the Premier League at this stage.
Blackpool rested the core of their first choice eleven during the week, and whilst they arguably should have come away from Villa Park with a point, Ian Holloway will see the move as having paid off if his team can carry their momentum into this clash with Avram Grant’s men.
West Ham are not short of attacking options, but need Carlton Cole to rediscover the form that has won him seven England caps. In the shorter term, however, a strong defensive display is key if the Hammers are to avoid conceding late goals in the manner of their last three Premier League games.