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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: POMPEY v HARTLEPOOL

16 December 2016

All you need to know about League Two clash

At the start of the season Pompey looked unstoppable at home and shaky away from Fratton Park.

But now they are rampant on the road and struggling to find consistency on the south coast.

The Blues have lost three of their past four home league fixtures ahead of Saturday’s clash with 19th-placed Hartlepool.

So the Fratton faithful will be hoping for plenty of festive cheer against a side currently full of Christmas humbug.

United make the mammoth trip down from the north-east on the back of three successive defeats.

A 2-0 loss at Wycombe was followed by a 4-0 FA Cup thrashing at the hands of League One outfit Port Vale.

But worse was to come last Saturday when a second half capitulation saw Cambridge leave Victoria Park with a 5-0 victory.

And with manager Craig Hignett about to start a two-match touchline ban, Poolies must be thinking they are on the naughty list this year.

A quick look at the record between the two sides will not do much to improve their mood, with only one previous triumph against Pompey.

Hartlepool have not even managed to score a goal against the Blues in the seven most recent clashes – and lost both of last season’s fixtures.

Caolan Lavery, Gareth Evans and Marc McNulty all scored in 2015/16’s corresponding contest, while Adam Jackson’s own-goal helped complete a 4-0 victory for the hosts.

A similar outcome this weekend will ensure it is a very Merry Christmas for all concerned with Pompey.


TEAM NEWS
Curtis Main (abdominal) is still sidelined, while Saturday’s game comes too soon for Jack Whatmough, who has recovered from a hamstring problem.

Hartlepool have no new injury concerns, but are still without Rob Jones (knee), Carl Magnay (knee) and Nathan Thomas (groin).


QUOTES
Read what Paul Cook and Michael Smith have to say about the game or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for pre-match video content.


HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 7 Wins
Hartlepool: 1 Win
4 Draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 5 Wins
Hartlepool: 1 Win
0 Draws


TICKETS
Seats can be secured online here or from the Frogmore Road ticket office.

On the day of the game they will be sold from the booths behind the Fratton End, which are open from 11am.


MATCH COVERAGE
Pompey PlayerHD subscribers can listen to live commentary from Fratton Park from 2pm on Saturday.

We’ll also have match updates on Twitter and the Pompey Wall.

There will be post-match reaction on the website, Pompey PlayerHD and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Sunday.

Local listeners can hear commentary on Express FM or BBC Radio Solent, while The News will also have extensive coverage.


BETTING
Pompey are 4/11 favourites with Sky Bet to collect all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 7/1.

Click here to read our full betting preview and sign up to www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers.


ALSO IN LEAGUE TWO
Doncaster v Grimsby (12.30pm)
Accrington v Plymouth
Barnet v Stevenage
Blackpool v Luton
Cambridge v Crewe
Carlisle v Yeovil
Colchester v Notts County
Crawley v Newport
Exeter v Mansfield
Morecambe v Cheltenham
Wycombe v Leyton Orient


LAST MEETING

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