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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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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 46 30 10 6 100 45
P Bolton 46 25 11 10 86 32
3 Scunthorpe 46 24 10 12 82 26
4 Fleetwood 46 23 13 10 82 21
5 Bradford 46 20 19 7 79 19
6 Millwall 46 20 13 13 73 9
7 Southend 46 20 12 14 72 17
8 Oxford 46 20 9 17 69 13
9 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 9
10 Bristol Rovers 46 18 12 16 66 -2
11 Peterborough 46 17 11 18 62 0
12 MK Dons 46 16 13 17 61 2
13 Charlton 46 14 18 14 60 7
14 Walsall 46 14 16 16 58 -7
15 Wimbledon 46 13 18 15 57 -3
16 Northampton 46 14 11 21 53 -13
17 Oldham 46 12 17 17 53 -13
18 Shrewsbury 46 13 12 21 51 -17
19 Bury 46 13 11 22 50 -12
20 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
R Port Vale 46 12 13 21 49 -25
R Swindon 46 11 11 24 44 -22
R Coventry 46 9 12 25 39 -31
R Chesterfield 46 9 10 27 37 -35
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