After losing 4-2 at Barnsley in their final game of 2015 and then suffering a narrow defeat at Burton Albion in the first game of the New Year, Blackpool slipped back into the bottom four following a min-revival in their previous three fixtures.
Wins at home to local rivals Fleetwood, away to Wigan Athletic and then at home to Peterborough United in the run up to Christmas will have lifted spirits at Bloomfield Road after losing seven consecutive matches, including exits from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the FA Cup.
Given that those seven defeats followed an unbeaten run of six games, it just shows how unpredictable football can be, and as Vale themselves have found on more than one occasion this season, anybody can indeed beat anybody in League One.
For that reason, Vale will show full respect to their opponents on Saturday, while at the same time, Rob Page’s men will be going for a positive result and hoping their away record can improve with three points won at the seaside.
Vale have been beaten on six of their last seven visits to Bloomfield Road in all competitions. The last time Vale won there was in January 2005, when a brace from Lee Matthews earned Vale a 2-0 win.
Seasiders boss Neil McDonald has already made a move in the current transfer market, bringing in two new faces to the squad on Thursday.
In came 30-year-old winger Mark Yeates on an 18-month loan deal from Oldham Athletic and striker Danny Philliskirk, also from Oldham, for an undisclosed fee.
24-year-old Philliskirk, who has netted seven goals for the Latics this term has agreed a two and a half year deal with the club, with an option of a further twelve months.
Yeates only joined Oldham in late August from Bradford City, but has made twenty appearances for the Boundary Park club, eight of those from the bench.
Vale have no further injury worries, with Ajay Leitch-Smith recovering from a knock suffered in Vale’s win over Bury recently.
Chris Birchall is expected to be out for a further six or seven weeks after having an operation on his knee, and winger Enoch Andoh is on the road to recovery, coming in for treatment on a daily basis now.
Midfielder Anthony Grant will miss the game as he is swerving the third of a three-match suspension. Michael Brown, who gave a man of the match display against Bury, is expected to start again.
Remember, if you can’t make it to this weekend’s game, you can get full match commentary, courtesy of Radio Stoke, on Valiant Player HD.