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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 46 99
2 Milton Keynes Dons 46 91
3 Preston North End 46 89
4 Swindon Town 46 79
5 Sheffield United 46 71
6 Chesterfield 46 69
7 Bradford City 46 65
8 Rochdale 46 63
9 Peterborough United 46 63
10 Fleetwood Town 46 63
11 Barnsley 46 62
12 Gillingham 46 62
13 Doncaster Rovers 46 61
14 Walsall 46 59
15 Oldham Athletic 46 57
16 Scunthorpe United 46 56
17 Coventry City 46 55
18 Port Vale 46 54
19 Colchester United 46 52
20 Crewe Alexandra 46 52
21 Notts County 46 50
22 Crawley Town 46 50
23 Leyton Orient 46 49
24 Yeovil Town 46 40