We turn our attentions to this evening's action with a full and in-depth preview of our Checkatrade Trophy game against Rochdale.
Hartlepool United v Rochdale
Wednesday 9th November 2016
After a slow start to the new campaign, Rochdale have roared back in to some great form which has seen them climb from the brink of the relegation spots to just outside the play-offs.
Part of that run saw them string together a superb sequence of seven straight wins in all competitions, meaning Keith Hill’s men must be considered promotion contenders.
Consecutive away losses to Swindon Town and Coventry City slowed their momentum slightly and they had to rely on a last-gasp free-kick from Callum Camps to spare their blushes and rescue a draw from their weekend FA Cup tie at non-league Maidstone.
Hill made the permitted six changes to his side in Dale’s last Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Notts County and it would be no surprise to see him do the same at Pools this evening.
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 11th January 2014
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Baldwin, Burgess, Walton, Monkhouse, Richards, Walker, Franks (Compton 68), Poole (Rodney 61), James.
Subs not used: Rafferty, Collins, Holden, Sweeney, Hawkins.
Rochdale: Lillis, Bennett, Lancashire, O’Connell, Rose, Cavanagh, Vincenti, Lund (Donnelly 20 (Cummins 81)), Henderson, Hogan (Bunney 83), Done.
Subs not used: Thomson, Rafferty, Eastham, Allen.
Head To Head
Today’s game will be the 146th competitive meeting between the two clubs, which means they’re our second most frequent opponent ever – the only opposition we’ve played more is Darlington.
Over that time Dale have the edge, having won on 57 occasions in comparison to Pools’ 51 and they’ve also enjoyed 3-0 victories in the last two meetings.
This evening will be the first time that Pools have played against Rochdale in the Football League Trophy in any of its forms.
Scott Duncan will be the man in the middle for this evening’s Checkatrade Trophy tie, overseeing a Pools game for the fourth time.
His most recent visit to Pools came in the same competition last season when Sheffield United ran out winners by virtue of a penalty shootout.
Duncan’s last appointment was at Ewood Park at the end of last month when he oversaw Blackburn Rovers’ 1-1 against Wolves.
Pools PlayerHD will carry live and uninterrupted online commentary of tonight’s game from 7.20pm.
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 the game remain on sale from the Club’s Ticket Office up to kick-off with the Club opening only the Camerons CK Stand and the Prostate Cancer UK Stand to home fans.
There will also be a Matchday Ticket Office open on the Clarence Road side of the ground to allow fans to buy ticket prior to kick-off as there will be no cash turnstiles.
Pools are already out of the Checkatrade Trophy having lost to Notts County and Sunderland in their opening two group fixtures.
The top two teams from each group progress to a knockout phase, which means Rochdale have already booked their place regardless of this evening’s result.
If the game finishes all-square at ninety minutes then both sides will be awarded a point but a penalty shootout will decide who is given a bonus point.
Both managers must select at least five of the players who started their FA Cup game on Sunday or five of the top eleven players in terms of starts in all competitions so far this season.
Pools are a 14/5 shot for victory this evening, while visitors Dale are installed as 17/20 favourites and the odds are 13/5 on it ending all-square and going to a penalty shootout.