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Hartlepool v Walsall - Preview

Hartlepool
vs.
Walsall

Victoria Park

23.03.13

3pm

Weather permitting, Walsall travel to relegation threatened Hartlepool as we continue to chase the top 6.

Vital Quotes:

John Hughes


Dean Smith 'It'LL be another tough game, there is no question about that. Everyone can beat each other in this League and we're expecting a tough battle.

Their manager, John Hughes, won the Manager of the Month award for February and whilst their recent results haven't been great, it's always a difficult place to go.

That said, if we play the sort of football we have been and reach the standards that I know we are capable of, we should be okay'

Hartlepool Team News:

Hartlepool will likely to be without James Poole, the striker limped out of Tuesday night's game at Oldham Athletic after taking a kick to his left leg and is rated doubtful to face The Saddlers this weekend.

Hughes is also having to deal with a sickness bug which has affected several members of his squad, who were unable to train this morning.

Ritchie Humphreys, who missed the trip to Boundary Park with a calf problem, is expected to train today and come back in to the reckoning for Saturday.

Player to watch: Anthony Sweeney

Former Saddler Anthony Sweeney has scored 3 goals in a struggling side this term but has always played well against us.

Walsall Team News:

Walsall will be without leading goalscorer Will Grigg who suffered a slight hamstring problem against Crawley last weekend.

Dean Smith now has a headache as to whether he recalls George Bowerman or plays Craig Westcarr uptop on his own.

Walsall have no other injury news.

England Under 19's goalkeeper - Sam Johnstone makes his Walsall debut following his loan move from Manchester United.

Player to watch: Febian Brandy

Without our leading goalscorer to lead our attack we turn to Febian Brandy to provide our firepower as we look to remain in the chasing pack.

Febian has been in fine form this season which has already warranted a standing ovation from opposition fans recently.

Match Facts & Stats

Hartlepool have gone 5 games without scoring.

Walsall are unbeaten in their last 9 games.

Walsall's last defeat came at Colchester in January.

Hartlepool have only scored 16 goals at home this season, less than anyone else in League 1.

Walsall have faced Hartlepool 52 times in all competitions. Walsall winning 18, Hartlepool 17 and drawing 17.

Walsall have failed to win at Hartlepool since 2007 thanks to a last minute Paul Hall strike.

The last three games between both sides has ended in a draw.

Ref Watch:

Andrew Madley from West Yorkshire is the man in the middle. He has officiated 32 games this season and has given 96 yellow cards and 3 red. In 32 games he has also given away 14 penalties...shame Grigg's not playing tomorrow. He was referee for our 1-0 win over Stevange earlier this season and was referee for Hartlepool's 2-0 home defeat to Stevenage.

Match Prediction:

With current form Walsall should win this. However given our record over Hartlepool I will plump for a 1-1 draw.

Next Fixtures:

HARTLEPOOL v MK Dons - 29.03.13
Yeovil v WALSALL - 29.03.13


Writer:Kev
Date:Friday March 22 2013
Time: 10:00AM

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Automatic Promotion8%
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 45 29 10 6 97 44
2 Bolton 45 24 11 10 83 29
3 Fleetwood 45 23 12 10 81 21
4 Scunthorpe 45 23 10 12 79 24
5 Bradford 45 20 18 7 78 19
6 Millwall 45 19 13 13 70 8
7 Southend 45 19 12 14 69 16
8 Rochdale 45 19 11 15 68 9
9 Oxford 45 19 9 17 66 11
10 Bristol Rovers 45 18 12 15 66 -1
11 Peterborough 45 17 11 17 62 3
12 MK Dons 45 15 13 17 58 -1
13 Walsall 44 14 16 14 58 -3
14 Charlton 45 13 18 14 57 4
15 Wimbledon 45 13 17 15 56 -3
16 Northampton 45 14 10 21 52 -13
17 Oldham 45 12 16 17 52 -13
18 Shrewsbury 45 13 12 20 51 -15
19 Bury 45 13 11 21 50 -11
20 Gillingham 45 12 13 20 49 -20
21 Port Vale 44 11 12 21 45 -26
R Swindon 45 11 11 23 44 -19
R Coventry 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Chesterfield 45 9 10 26 37 -34
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