Blackpool's Roman Bednar and West Ham's Winston Reid in action.
Friday, 18 May, 2012
Blackpool and West Ham seek instant return to the Premier League.
Blackpool v West Ham United
Football League Championship
3pm, Saturday 19 May 2012
Blackpool and West Ham United will both be aiming to bounce straight back into the Premier League on Saturday when they contest the Football League Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium.
The two clubs were relegated at the end of the 2010-11 season but have fought all year to leave themselves just 90 minutes away from a return to the big time.
West Ham won both League fixtures between the sides, triumphing 4-0 at Upton Park in October and inflicting a 4-1 defeat on Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in February.
The Tangerines reached the Premier League via the Play-Offs two years ago, when they beat Cardiff 3-2, but manager Ian Holloway believes it has been even more difficult to steer his side back to Wembley this season.
"It speaks volumes for everybody connected with the football club,” he told BBC North West Tonight.
"Everything about this season was much harder than two years ago and I couldn't be prouder. We've managed to improve all the way along and now we're in our best run of form all season.
"We're up against a really good team, definitely the third best team in the division, and we're going to have to play better than we ever have to get anything.
"But I believe in my team and we're going to try our best."
Meanwhile, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce says the Play-Off Final has more riding on it than the UEFA Champions League Final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich which will be played on Saturday evening.
He told BBC London 94.9: "I think it means more to both clubs and their livelihoods. The Champions League is massive, but it's a cup competition.
"This is eleven months of hard work and planning to make sure we have a brilliant season, not a disappointing one. That makes it much bigger.”
And, like Holloway, Allardyce also has experience of guiding a side to Play-Off glory, having won promotion with Bolton via this route in 2001.
"It was such a pleasure to achieve the ultimate goal and manage in the top League in the world and test my skills.
"I want to feel that feeling again if I can. It's why I came here.
"We missed out on automatic promotion but to do it this way, as hard as it is, would give great satisfaction.”
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