We turn our attentions to Boxing Day with a full and in-depth preview of Blackpool's League Two visit to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
Sky Bet League Two
Hartlepool United v Blackpool
Monday 26th December 2016
After a relatively slow start to the new campaign, Blackpool have shook off any lingering signs of a relegation hangover and are now firmly in the fight for a play-off spot.
Gary Bowyer arrived at the helm during the summer charged with the responsibility of reversing a slump which has seen The Tangerines slip from the Premier League to the fourth tier in just five years.
Blackpool currently sit just one point and one place outside the play-off zone and their solid form has also seen them continue their interest in both the FA Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy.
It’s been a mixed bag in terms of results on the road so far this season but they won their last away game 2-0 at Stevenage and will be keen to reproduce that form as they seek a reaction to the disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Luton Town last time out.
Gary Bowyer is crossing his fingers that midfield star Brad Potts will be ready to return on Boxing Day after recovering from a hamstring injury.
The former Carlisle United man has missed only one league game so far this season but underwent emergency dental surgery following last weekend’s defeat to Luton Town.
Potts arrived at Bloomfield Road last summer and has proved a reliable source of goals from midfield – the 22-year-old has helped himself to six already this term.
Blackpool 3 (Clarke pen 28, pen 74, Parker 82)
Saturday 28th January 2006
Hartlepool United: Konstantopoulos, Nelson, Barron (s/o 27), Nash, Clark (Boyd 46), Sweeney, Humphreys, Strachan (Bullock 74), Pittman (Foley 82), E Williams, Daly.
Subs not used: Provett, D Williams.
Blackpool: Jones, Joseph, Butler, Clarke (Southern 85), Wilcox (Taylor 52), Morris, Prendergast, Bean, Wood (s/o 10), Murphy, Parker (Kuqi 84).
Subs not used: Pogliacomi, Wiles.
Head To Head
Our Boxing Day meeting with Blackpool will be the 24th competitive encounter between the two sides but the first in over ten years.
Over history it’s the visitors who have the better of it having won 11 times in comparison to Pools’ seven triumphs.
Recent meetings have often been tight affairs with three of the last five ending in draws, though The Tangerines ran out 3-0 winners when the sides last collided in 2006.
Geoff Eltringham will take charge of sixth Pools game on Boxing Day when he’s the man in the middle for the visit of Blackpool.
His most recent trip to the North-East came last September when he oversaw our goalless draw against Cambridge United.
Eltringham’s most recent outing came in the Championship when he presided over Aston Villa’s televised 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers last Sunday.
Pools PlayerHD will carry live and uninterrupted online commentary of Monday’s game with Mark Simpson and Brian Honour from 2.50pm.
Fans all over the world can access the live broadcast so if you can’t get along to the game then make sure to join the lads on Pools PlayerHD to keep up to date.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Tickets for all areas of the ground will remain on sale up until kick-off from the Club’s Main Ticket Office on Clarence Road.
Two cash-only Matchday Ticket Offices will be open – one is situated on the Clarence Road side of the Prostate Cancer UK Stand and the other is on the Niramax Stand. These will open at 1.15pm and remain open until kick-off.
Fans wishing to make card purchases of tickets must report to the main Ticket Office.
Click here for full details on buying tickets for this game.
Pools are rated a 3/1 shot for victory on Boxing Day, with visitors Blackpool installed as 17/20 favourites and the draw priced at 5/2 with our friends at Sky Bet