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Sky Bet League 1

Deepdale (ATT 14,191) 14th February 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: T Bates

Preston Preston North End vs Hartlepool United Hartlepool

Preston 1

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Preston v Hartlepool preview

Last Updated: 13/02/12 5:03pm

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Poole: Preston clash too early for hamstring return

Poole: Preston clash too early for hamstring return

Team news for Tuesday night's League One clash between Preston and Hartlepool at Deepdale.

Preston boss Graham Westley could field up to five debutants.

Recent postponements against Brentford and Tranmere have prevented January signings Chris Robertson, Rhys Murphy and Graham Cummins from making their North End bows, while free agents Nicky Hunt and Aaron Brown joined at the start of this month to further bolster Westley's defensive options.

Former Torquay centre-back Robertson is expected to start as Craig Morgan will finally serve his one-match ban for a red card against Yeovil at the end of January.

Paul Coutts will be absent from the Preston midfield for two games having picked up his 10th yellow card of the campaign during the same match.

Strike duo Iain Hume (hamstring) and Neil Mellor (knee) remain on the sidelines to bring Murphy and Cummins into contention, although the newcomers are most likely to feature from the substitutes' bench.

Hartlepool will be without James Poole as the striker faces an extended spell on the sidelines.

Poole, out since Boxing Day, had an injection last week to aid his recovery from a hamstring injury and must allow that to settle before he can resume training.

Manager Neale Cooper has no new injury or suspension worries following Saturday's goalless home draw with Bournemouth, but striker Colin Larkin remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Another forward, Colin Nish, is pushing for a place in the starting line-up after stepping off the substitutes' bench at the weekend, although Cooper is expected to retain teenager Luke James up front alongside James Brown.

Pools extended their unbeaten league run to five matches on Saturday and are currently seven points adrift of the play-offs in 10th place.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bristol City 19 39
2 Swindon Town 18 35
3 Preston North End 18 34
4 Milton Keynes Dons 16 31
5 Sheffield United 18 31
6 Notts County 18 30
7 Rochdale 18 27
8 Oldham Athletic 18 27
9 Peterborough United 19 27
10 Fleetwood Town 18 25
11 Chesterfield 18 24
12 Bradford City 18 23
13 Barnsley 17 22
14 Walsall 18 22
15 Port Vale 18 22
16 Doncaster Rovers 16 21
17 Crawley Town 18 21
18 Coventry City 18 20
19 Leyton Orient 18 19
20 Gillingham 18 18
21 Colchester United 18 17
22 Yeovil Town 18 17
23 Scunthorpe United 17 16
24 Crewe Alexandra 18 15