We turn our attentions to this evening's EFL Cup tie at Preston North End with a full and in-depth preview of the action.
Preston North End v Hartlepool United
EFL Cup First Round
Tuesday 9th August 2016
Following promotion via the play-offs in 2014/15, Preston North End consolidated their position in the Championship last term with a creditable 11th place finish.
With five new signings arriving at Deepdale during the summer, there will be hope that The Lilywhites can mount a serious challenge further up the table this time around.
Simon Grayson’s men were unfortunate to start the new campaign with defeat at Reading on Saturday, somehow failing to find the net during a late onslaught in search of an equaliser.
The North End boss may consider shuffling his pack for this evening’s EFL Cup tie, with former Pools loan man Jordan Hugill crossing his fingers for a start after coming off the bench at the weekend.
Daniel Johnson could be an important player for North End again this term after finding the net eight times from midfield during 2015/16.
The 23-year-old was a trainee at Aston Villa and enjoyed a series of loan moves before landing at Deepdale on a permanent deal in the January 2015 transfer window.
Since then, the creative talent has become a big hit with Preston supporters thanks to his well-timed runs forward and eye for goal.
Hartlepool United 0
Preston North End 1 (Mousinho 45)
Tuesday 1st January 2013
Pools: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Humphreys, Walton (Austin 52), Sweeney, Franks (James 83), Wyke (Poole 75), Howard.
Subs not used: McHugh, Baldwin, Holden, Monkhouse.
Preston North End: Simonsen, Cansdell-Sherriff, Kane, Buchanan (Byrom 74), Wright (Robertson 35), Foster, Wroe (Procter 86), Welsh, Mousinho, King, Beavon.
Subs not used: Stuckmann, Cummins, Beardsley, Elding.
Head To Head
Tonight’s game will be just the 19th competitive meeting between the two sides and Preston have enjoyed the edge having won eight times in comparison to Pools’ six.
The Lilywhites have prospered in recent games – they’ve won on the last four occasions the sides have met, scoring eight goals without reply.
The last Pools’ victory came back in January 2000 when late goals from Craig Midgley and Tommy Miller helped Chris Turner’s men come from behind to win at Deepdale.
Andy Woolmer will take charge of his ninth Pools game this evening when he’s the man on the whistle for our EFL Cup visit to Preston.
The official last oversaw a Pools fixture in September last year when Christian Ribeiro’s injury-time goal handed Exeter City a 1-0 win at St James’ Park.
His first appointment to a Pools game came way back in February 2005 when Adam Boyd’s goal secured all three points from our visit to Chesterfield.
He was in action at Nottingham Forest on Saturday when he was placed in charge of their 4-3 win over Championship newcomers Burton Albion at The City Ground.
Pools PlayerHD will be providing live online commentary of tonight’s game so if you can’t get along to Deepdale then make sure you join us for full coverage.
We’ll be on-air from 7.35pm tonight as we set the scene before describing all the action as it unfolds against the Championship outfit.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Tickets are no longer available in advance for this fixture but fans will be able to buy them prior to kick-off at Deepdale.
Click here for full details on buying tickets for this game.
Pools have been installed as big 5/1 outsiders for victory inside ninety minutes at Deepdale with our hosts priced as 8/15 favourites and odds of 3/1 on the tie going in to extra time.