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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 Wolverhampton Wanderers 44 99
2 Brentford 44 91
3 Rotherham United 44 82
4 Preston North End 44 82
5 Leyton Orient 44 80
6 Peterborough United 44 70
7 Swindon Town 44 66
8 Sheffield United 43 60
9 Port Vale 44 60
10 Milton Keynes Dons 44 59
11 Walsall 44 58
12 Bristol City 44 56
13 Crawley Town 43 55
14 Bradford City 44 53
15 Gillingham 44 52
16 Oldham Athletic 43 51
17 Coventry City 44 50
18 Colchester United 44 47
19 Tranmere Rovers 44 47
20 Crewe Alexandra 44 47
21 Notts County 44 46
22 Carlisle United 43 44
23 Shrewsbury Town 44 41
24 Stevenage 44 39