We look ahead to the weekend with a full and in-depth preview of Plymouth Argyle's visit to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
Hartlepool United v Plymouth Argyle
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 18th February 2017
Plymouth Argyle arrive in the region looking to bounce back a surprise defeat to Leyton Orient in midweek when they missed the opportunity to go level on points with leaders Doncaster Rovers.
Derek Adams’ men fell at the play-off hurdle last season but look well placed to avoid that lottery this term having built up an eight-point gap on fourth-placed Luton Town.
Having lost 2-1 at Yeovil Town at the end of last month, The Pilgrims responded impressively with victory at Cambridge United before a memorable 3-0 triumph over Exeter City in the Devon Derby so Tuesday’s loss came out of the blue.
With a trip to Kenilworth Road to follow next week before a run of three consecutive home games, Argyle will see the upcoming period as an opportunity to tighten their grip on an automatic promotion slot.
Graham Carey was named as Argyle’s Player of the Year during his debut season at Home Park having been snapped up by Derek Adams in the summer of 2015.
The Plymouth boss had previously worked with Carey at Ross County and his confidence proved well-placed as the talented midfielder helped himself to a dozen goals last season.
He’s continued where he left off during 2016/17 too and he’s already hit double figures again so looks likely to prove a key component in Argyle’s attempts to close in on promotion.
Plymouth Argyle 1 (Jervis pen 84)
Pools 1 (Thomas 21)
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Songo’o (Jervis 46), Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Carey, Fox, Tanner (Spencer 59), Goodwillie, Slew (Smith 46).
Subs not used: Dorel, Threlkeld, Donaldson, Ijaha.
Pools: Carson, Donnelly, Nsiala, Harrison, Carroll, Featherstone, Hawkins (Richards 89), Laurent, Thomas (Deverdics 78), Amond (Paynter 81), Alessandra.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Orrell, Fewster, Heardman.
Head To Head
This weekend’s game will be the 28th competitive encounter between the clubs and Argyle have shaded it historically having won on 10 occasions in comparison to Pools’ 9 triumphs.
The Pilgrims did the double over Pools last term but a battling performance earlier this campaign and brought home a 1-1 draw from the long trip to Home Park.
Games between the two usually provide goals – there has been only one goalless draw in the fixture and that came back in 1999.
Andy Haines will take charge of his eighth Pools fixture when Plymouth Argyle make the trip to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium on Saturday.
His most recent visit to the North-East came in August when he was the man in the middle for our 2-2 draw against Newport County on home soil.
Haines was also on the whistle for last season’s 3-2 defeat to Carlisle United, while he has been a visitors here on New Year’s Day in both 2013 and 2014.
Pools legend Brian Honour will join Mark Simpson for live commentary of Saturday’s game on Pools PlayerHD 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 for Saturday’s game remain on sale from the Club’s Ticket Office up to kick-off.
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 14/5 shot for three points on Saturday with visitors Plymouth Argyle ranked 1/1 even money favourites and the draw priced at 12/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.