Match Preview: Hartlepool Utd


“These boys are Championship players, if not some of them Premier League players” – Danny Wilson

Wilson would do well not to remind his players of these words before Saturday. The Hartlepool boss will have undoubtedly studied Leicester’s defeat to Millwall and seen the all too obvious lack of strength in the side. The question is, are Hartlepool strong enough?

Previous Meetings
The JPT Northern Section 1st Round encounter in which the Foxes ran out 3-0 winners has thus far been the only competitive meeting between the two sides. That night Hartlepool created more chances, but failed to make any of them count.

Whilst Leicester were busy reaping the rewards of that win in midweek by boring everyone to death at home to Lincoln, Hartlepool were being dumped out of the Carling Cup by Leeds.

Reasons To Be Confident
Hartlepool have picked up a rather worrying habit of conceding late goals. Their defeat to Leeds in midweek came as a result of a 90th minute strike from Andy Robinson. It was the sixth time this season the ‘Pool have conceded in the final five minutes. We could see another City late show.

Hartlepool have yet to beat a team in the top half of League One this season.

Hartlepool have scored just two goals away from home in League One this season. Both goals came in a two minute spell during the 2-1 victory over Peterborough.

Reasons To Be Worried
Hartlepool have found their scoring boots in recent weeks. The Monkey Hangers have knocked in seven goals in their last two league games. They’ve been pretty accurate too, with 60% of attempts on goal working the keeper. James Brown in particular deserves a fair amount of credit for these statistics. Brown has hit 15 shots on target this season whilst only striking 8 wide.

The goals dry up in away games for Hartlepool at both ends. ‘Pool have conceded only four away from home this season. The Hartlepool team bus may well be parked in front of goal at the Walkers. It will be up to City to break Hartlepool down.

Leicester managed to scrape a victory at Brisbane Road last week despite a poor performance. Whilst it’s often said that strong sides win even when they play badly, Leicester haven’t put together a good performance since August. Leicester fans need some reassuring.

On This Day
Leicester raced into a two goal half-time lead at QPR in 2004, only for the travelling Foxes faithful to watch in horror as City threw the advantage away and a last-minute strike from Paul Furlong ensured Leicester left Loftus Road with nothing. The 3-2 reverse was the straw that probably broke the back of the Micky Adams era at the Walkers Stadium. Three games later, he quit.

Selected Odds
Leicester – 8/13 (totesport)
Draw – 14/5 (Bet365)
Hartlepool – 11/2 (Bet365)

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