We look ahead to this evening's game with a full, in-depth preview of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie at Victoria Park.
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy First Round
Tuesday 1st September 2015
The Story So Far
Sheffield United climbed up to second in the League One table over the weekend after their impressive 2-0 win at promotion rivals Swindon Town.
It underlined The Blades’ superb recovery following a humbling 4-0 defeat at Gillingham on the opening day of the new campaign.
Since that disappointment at Priestfield Stadium, Nigel Adkins’ men have won four league games on the bounce and were also victors over Morecambe in the Capital One Cup.
Last Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at Fulham ended their Capital One Cup involvement but Adkins highlighted that the league is his ultimate priority by making several changes for the trip to Craven Cottage.
One To Watch
Billy Sharp signed for Sheffield United for a third time during the summer when he arrived at the club following his departure from Leeds United.
The 29-year-old front man has been a regular source of goals during his career during which he has worked with current Blades boss Nigel Adkins at Scunthorpe United, Southampton and Reading.
The Sheffield-born hitman has been on target in each of his last two outings for the Bramall Lane outfit and his ability to find the net will mean he is a threat if selected for the game this evening.
Tuesday 7th October 2014
Hartlepool United 1 (Duckworth 50)
Sheffield United 2 (Baxter 30, Campbell-Ryce 82)
Hartlepool United: Flinders, Austin, Harrison, Jones, Duckworth, Miller, Woods, Brobbel, Hawkins (Smith 86), Green (Walker 74), Wyke.
Subs not used: Holden, Richards, Franks.
Sheffield United: Turner, Harris, McGahey, Basham, McGinn, Davies, Campbell-Ryce, Reed, Baxter (McNulty 46), Porter (Collins 85), De Girolamo (Murphy 63).
Subs not used: Willis, Doyle.
Head To Head
Tonight’s game will be the fourteenth competitive meeting between the two sides and the third season running that Pools have faced The Blades in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Last term, the South Yorkshire outfit won 2-1 at The Vic in this competition but back in 2013/14 James Poole’s excellent goal was enough to secure a Pools win at Bramall Lane.
Pools also had joy at that venue when the sides last met in the league in December 2012 when goals from Steve Howard (2) and Ritchie Humphreys helped carry us to a 3-2 win.
Carl Magnay is a doubt after taking a knock in Saturday’s game against Carlisle United but Harry Worley is pushing for a recall after recovering from an ankle injury.
Click here now for a full round-up of team news ahead of the game.
Scott Duncan will take charge of his third-ever Pools game tonight – and the previous two occasions have both ended in 2-1 wins at Victoria Park.
He was the man in the middle for our crucial 2-1 success over Morecambe in April 2014 which secured our Football League status, while he was also on the whistle for a victory over Leyton Orient at The Vic in February 2013.
So far this season he has refereed five games with his most recent coming last Tuesday when he was the man in the middle for Ipswich Town’s 4-1 Capital One Cup win at Doncaster Rovers.
Tickets for the game are just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions – they will be available from the Victoria Park Ticket Office or on the turnstiles prior to kick-off.
Click here now for full information on tickets for this fixture.
Johnstone's Paint Trophy rules stipulate that managers must name at least six of the eleven players who featured in the previous game, or six of the players who have made the most appearances during the current campaign.
If the tie is level at ninety minutes, then it will be settled directly by a penalty shootout without the need for extra time.
Fans all over the world can listen to full live online commentary of this evening’s game by logging-on to Pools PlayerHD from 6.50pm.
Click here now for more information on accessing live commentary of every game on Pools PlayerHD.
Pools are rated a 100/30 shot to win inside ninety minutes this evening, with Sheffield United installed as 4/5 favourites and odds of 13/5 on the tie going to penalties.
Click here now for a look at all the latest markets and odds ahead of kick-off with our friends at Sky Bet.