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Saturday, May 19, 2012
Allardyce prepares for giant test

ESPN staff

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce believes the Championship play-off final is a bigger game than the Champions League final.

• Phillips: We have point to prove

West Ham head to Wembley on Saturday afternoon to face Blackpool as they battle it out for a place in the Premier League, with an estimated 90 million at stake for the winners

Chelsea face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena later on Saturday but Allardyce feels Wembley will be hosting the more significant match.

"Saturday afternoon is bigger," he said. "The Champions League final is a glory game; this is about your livelihood and your status. The Champions League is a big tournament but this one is about changing people's lives."

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway, meanwhile, believes his side can secure a surprise return to the Premier League despite having lost both of their league games against the Hammers this season.

"This is our chance to do something incredibly special," Holloway said in the Blackpool Gazette. "Some people probably thought we'd have our one season in the sun and that would be it - that we'd slink away and disappear.

"There was never any chance of that. This club is too good for that and I am too proud as a person to ever let that happen.

"We face a huge task at Wembley. West Ham are undoubtedly one of the biggest and best clubs in the Championship and they finished 11 points ahead of us in the league, and beat us twice - but forget that. This is a one-off game."




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