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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 Swindon Town 26 54
2 Bristol City 25 54
3 Milton Keynes Dons 26 52
4 Preston North End 26 47
5 Chesterfield 26 38
6 Rochdale 25 37
7 Fleetwood Town 27 37
8 Bradford City 25 36
9 Sheffield United 24 36
10 Notts County 26 35
11 Doncaster Rovers 25 35
12 Port Vale 27 35
13 Peterborough United 26 34
14 Oldham Athletic 25 34
15 Walsall 26 33
16 Gillingham 27 31
17 Scunthorpe United 24 30
18 Coventry City 27 30
19 Barnsley 25 29
20 Crewe Alexandra 26 29
21 Colchester United 26 27
22 Leyton Orient 26 26
23 Yeovil Town 27 25
24 Crawley Town 27 24