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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 43 96
2 Brentford 43 90
3 Leyton Orient 43 80
4 Rotherham United 43 79
5 Preston North End 43 79
6 Peterborough United 43 67
7 Swindon Town 43 63
8 Port Vale 43 60
9 Sheffield United 42 59
10 Milton Keynes Dons 43 58
11 Walsall 43 57
12 Crawley Town 42 55
13 Bradford City 43 53
14 Bristol City 43 53
15 Gillingham 43 51
16 Oldham Athletic 42 50
17 Coventry City 43 49
18 Colchester United 43 46
19 Tranmere Rovers 43 46
20 Crewe Alexandra 43 46
21 Carlisle United 42 44
22 Notts County 43 43
23 Shrewsbury Town 43 41
24 Stevenage 43 39