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Match Previews

Preview: Plymouth Argyle v Pools

6 May 2016

We turn our attentions to Saturday as Pools close their League Two campaign with an away game at Plymouth Argyle.

Plymouth Argyle v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 5th May 2016
Kick-off: 3pm

The Story So Far
Plymouth Argyle began the season with designs on securing an automatic promotion place in League Two but have had to be content with a spot in the play-offs.

The Pilgrims already know that they will face Portsmouth in the semi-finals, though Saturday’s results will help decide who will have home advantage in the first leg of that tie.

Derek Adams enjoyed a brilliant start to life in the Argyle dugout after replacing John Sheridan last summer and just three defeats in the first three months of the campaign and they were five points clear at the top at the end of October.

However, injuries began to bite during the second half of the campaign and they’ve found victories harder to come by, particularly at home where they have won just once in the last five games.

One To Watch
Curtis Nelson has become a local hero in Plymouth after coming through the ranks at Home Park and he’s now skippering the side as they seek promotion despite still being just 22.

His dependable performances in the heart of the Argyle defence – usually alongside former Pools star Peter Hartley – mean he is one of the first names on Derek Adams’ teamsheet.

This term has been a typically strong one for Nelson and his importance to the team is summed-up by the fact he’s the only player who has started in every game in all competitions.

Last Meeting
Saturday 19th December 2015
Hartlepool United 1 (Fenwick pen 84)
Plymouth Argyle 2 (McHugh 76, Mellor 90)

Hartlepool United: Carson, Carroll, Harrison, Bates, Jackson, Woods, Featherstone, Gray (Mandron 81), Naismith, Oates (Bingham 55), Fenwick.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Richards, Walker, Oyenuga, Smith.

Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Sawyer, McHugh, Nelson, Hartley, Threlkeld, Wylde (Purrington 86), Tanner, Jervis (Harvey 65), Brunt (Smalley 89).
Subs not used: Walton, Bentley, Hall, Rooney.

Head To Head
This weekend’s game will be the 26th competitive meeting between the two sides and Plymouth are looking to complete the league double on the back of their 2-1 win at The Vic in December.

This is the second time in three seasons that Pools have completed their campaign at Home Park and on the last occasion – in 2013/14 – they drew 1-1 with The Pilgrims.

Overall, the head to head record is a balanced one – both clubs have won on nine occasions, with the other seven meetings ending all-square.

Team News
Craig Hignett is likely to be without Jake Carroll who is struggling with a calf problem, while Matthew Bates is suffering from an ankle injury and is doubtful.


Referee
Darren Deadman will be in charge of his fourteenth Pools fixture this weekend – and his third this season - when he’s on the whistle at Plymouth.

The official was also the man in the middle when we defeated AFC Wimbledon 1-0 at The Vic in March and for the heated game at Wycombe Wanderers in September when Carl Magnay scored and got sent-off.

His most recent outing was last weekend when he was the man in charge at Reading for their 2-1 home defeat to Preston North End in the Championship.

Ticket Information
Tickets are no longer on advance sale from The Vic but Pools fans will be able to buy on the turnstiles prior to kick-off at Home Park.

Click here now for full information on tickets for the fixture.

Live Commentary
from 3pm.Pools PlayerHDPools fans all over the world will be able to listen to full online commentary of Saturday’s game by logging-on to

Click here now for more information on accessing live commentary of every game on Pools PlayerHD.

Betting
Pools are rated a 7/2 shot for all three points on the final weekend with our hosts Plymouth installed as 4/5 favourites for the victory and a draw priced at 13/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.


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