Preston v Hartlepool preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:54

Preston v Hartlepool preview

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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