Walsall v Hartlepool preview

Team news ahead of Saturday's League One clash between Walsall and Hartlepool at the Banks's Stadium.

Last Updated: 23/11/12 at 15:36

Westcarr: Set for debut

Westcarr: Set for debut

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Craig Westcarr is set to make his Walsall debut.

The forward arrived on loan from Chesterfield ahead of Thursday's deadline and goes straight into Dean Smith's squad for the clash.

It was hoped midfielder Florent Cuvelier would be able to make his return from a hamstring injury against Pools but that now looks increasingly doubtful, with the encounter coming too soon.

Ben Purkiss stands a better chance of being fit as he closes in on his comeback after a hamstring injury of his own, while captain and fellow defender Andy Butler is available again after serving a one-match ban.

The centre-back missed Tuesday's goalless draw at leaders Tranmere as Walsall recorded creditable back-to-back points, although they remain winless in 13 as they prepare to host a Hartlepool side with just one victory to their name this season.

Hartlepool will be without suspended defender Neil Austin as manager John Hughes bids to secure his first win in charge.

Austin starts a four-game ban after being sent off for the second time this season in the midweek home defeat to Oldham and Hughes must decide whether to bring in Jack Baldwin at right-back or fellow teenager Jordan Richards, who is hoping to make his third start for Pools.

Winger Andy Monkhouse is pushing for his first start in over seven weeks following an ankle injury after making his second substitute appearance in midweek.

Back-up goalkeeper Adam McHugh has been struggling with an ankle injury, but is hoping to return to the bench again, with Mark Foden on standby, while teenage forward Luke James (double hernia) is still out after surgery.

Loan strikers Ryan Noble and Charlie Wyke and midfielder Nathan Luscombe are all hoping for recalls as Pools chase their first league win since September 1.

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