We look ahead to Tuesday night's game at Victoria Park as Pools host Portsmouth for the first time in over thirty years.npower League One
Hartlepool United v Portsmouth
Tuesday 12th February 2013
Portsmouth's 2-0 defeat at high-flying Bournemouth on Saturday was their ninth in succession and saw them level a club record of nineteen games without a win.
Their last victories came back-to-back in mid-October when Crewe and Shrewsbury were both beaten at Fratton Park, but since then they have picked up just three points from a possible 54.
Their run of form coupled with Pools' upturn in results means that John Hughes' men know they can leap-frog their financially-troubled rivals with a victory on Tuesday evening.
While the result was poor against The Cherries, Guy Whittingham was more satisfied with the level of performance and he'll be hoping they can produce those battling qualities at The Vic.
Head To Head
Tuesday's game will be only the sixth time the two sides have ever met in competitive action and the first time that Portsmouth have been to Victoria Park since August 1979.
Pools' victory at Fratton Park just over a fortnight ago was their first-ever success against the South Coast club with a draw a best they had managed in any of the previous four encounters.
There have been at least two goals in each of the five games between the two sides and, with plenty to fight for at the bottom of League One, another open game would not be a surprise.
Saturday 26th January 2013
Portsmouth 1 Hartlepool United 3
Portsmouth: Eastwood, Gyepes, Ertl, Rocha, Butler, Cooper, Reed, Russell, Wallace, Connolly, Keene.
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Walton, Humphreys, Baldwin, Franks, Poole, Wyke.
Pools boss John Hughes could opt to name an unchanged starting line-up for the fourth successive game against Pompey.
Steve Howard is back in training after a hamstring problem but the match probably comes too soon for him, while Antony Sweeney is still recovering from a knee injury.
The crowd played an important role at Victoria Park as Pools defeated Notts County last time out on home soil and it will be hoped that another good crowd is in attendance.
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Pools legend Mark Tinkler will join the Pools Player commentary team for full live coverage of Tuesday night's game from 7.35pm.
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