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Club News

Match preview: Pools host Tranmere Rovers

14 February 2022

After two wins on the bounce in League Two, Hartlepool United welcome Tranmere Rovers to the Suit Direct Stadium on Tuesday evening. Wins over Barrow and Crawley form part of a five-game unbeaten run in the league, and this run, alongside morale-boosting performances in the cup, gives Pools cause for optimism for Tuesday night’s game and beyond.

The Opposition
Tranmere are currently second in League Two, though they’re 11 points adrift of runaway leaders Forest Green. They’ve won two of their last five games, defeating Swindon and Stevenage at home, losing to Forest Green and Walsall, and drawing with Barrow. In all, they’ve won 16 of their 31 league games this season, and they’re five points clear of Exeter City in fourth.

The Rovers side is led by Micky Mellon. He joined from Dundee in the summer, after joining the Scottish outfit from Tranmere in 2020 after winning back-to-back promotions from the Vanarama National League to League One. Familiar names feature in midfield for Tranmere, with former Poolie Josh Hawkes recently joining on a permanent deal from Sunderland and two former Premier League players, Jay Spearing and Callum McManaman also in the engine room.

The History
This will be the 128th meeting between the sides, with Pools winning 41, Tranmere winning 58, and 28 games ending in a draw previously. Pools will be out for revenge after suffering a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture. Tom Davies’ goal was the difference in September, giving Tranmere one of their 58 wins.

Pools’ current coaching staff have happy memories against Tranmere, with Graeme Lee, Michael Nelson, and Tony Sweeney all notching goals between 1997 and 2012. Gary Liddle has also netted against Tranmere, albeit in his first spell with the club, and RB Leipzig’s Péter Gulácsi scored an own goal to give Pools a victory in 2010.

Team News
As always, Graeme Lee has tough choices to make for Tuesday evening’s fixture. He stuck with the same team for Saturday’s win over Crawley, but lethargy showed in the second half, meaning opportunities could be available for fringe players. Gary Liddle, Isaac Fletcher, and Mark Shelton were all solid during their appearances from the bench, while Nicky Featherstone is now available after his suspension was served.

How to Follow
If you’re not heading to the Suit Direct Stadium on Tuesday, you can follow all the action on iFollow. The game will be live streamed and your video pass can be purchased below:

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