Hartlepool v Portsmouth preview

Team news for Tuesday's League One clash between Hartlepool and Portsmouth at Victoria Park.

Last Updated: 11/02/13 at 17:19

Steve Howard: Expected to miss out again

Steve Howard: Expected to miss out again

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Hartlepool manager John Hughes could be tempted to field an unchanged starting line-up.

Hughes has no new injury or suspension worries after his side extended their unbeaten league run to four matches with a 1-1 draw at Swindon on Saturday.

Striker Steve Howard is not expected to be involved despite returning to full training this week following a hamstring injury and midfielder Antony Sweeney remains sidelined with a knee problem.

But defender Jordan Richards is pushing for a recall. The teenager returned to the bench as an unused substitute at the weekend following a three-game absence due to a knee injury.

Winger Andy Monkhouse staked his claim for a return with the equaliser after stepping off the bench at former club Swindon on Saturday.

Victory for Pools would see them leapfrog Portsmouth off the bottom of the table.

Portsmouth are still without David Connolly as they travel to bottom-club Hartlepool.

Pompey are just a point ahead of John Hughes' side and are on a club record winless run of 19 games.

If they are to avoid dropping to the foot of the table it will be without striker Connolly, who remains sidelined with a hamstring problem.

John Akinde and Patrick Agyemang, who both made their debuts against Bournemouth at the weekend, will continue in attack.

Bos Guy Whittingham also allowed youngster Frankie Sutherland to return to parent-club QPR after he failed to break into the first team at Fratton Park.

He made just one substitute appearance during his time at the club - against Hartlepool - and he will not be involved against the same opponents after his stay was ended early.

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