Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A cold wind can blow in from Hartlepool on a Tuesday night

The Cherries travel to Hartlepool Utd's Victoria Park today as they get a change from the pressures of the Premier League. While AFCB will be the big favourites in this Capital One tie, it is clear that Ronnie Moore's side has started extremely well this season with nine points out of 12 from the first four league games and a useful 0-1 away win in the first round of the Capital One Cup at Fleetwood who play in League One.

It is likely that Eddie Howe will give a run out for players that have not started or been much involved in the league fixtures so far the chance to build their fitness. That could mean an appearance for Baily Cargill and Elliott Ward who will be keen to feature in this fixture, but Sylvain Distin and Mings will surely get starts along with Tomlin. It would be lovely to see Harry Arter on the bench but I don't expect him to be ready for that yet. The Cherries will still want to progress and that won't necessarily be easy considering Hartlepool's current form.

Billy Paynter, 30, has been among the goals for the Monkey Hangers. He signed from Carlisle Utd in the summer.and Rakish Bingham has given able support as the number nine striker having signed from Mansfield. The team has certainly more confidence than it did last season and Moore has had them playing well all pre-season apart from a  slip up against Torquay Utd. They've also been scouting up north having brought in winger Kudus Oyenuga, 22, who was released by Dundee Utd. It was also important for the club to give influential midfielder Nicky Featherstone on a new contract.

This game will certainly put a smile on Steve Fletcher's face but I expect he will remain quiet when asked which team he wants to win the game.

My expected AFCB team to face Hartlepool tonight is:
(4-4-1-1) Federici (GK), Smith (RD), Distin (CD), Cargill (CD), Mings (LD, Atsu (RM) , Gosling (CM), MacDonald, Stanislas (LM), Tomlin (FW), Kermorgant (FW)

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