We turn our attentions to the midweek action with a full and in-depth preview of The Bluebirds' League Two visit to Victoria Park.
Hartlepool United v Barrow
Tuesday 8th February 2022, 7.45pm
Sky Bet League Two
Hartlepool United enjoyed a glorious return to the EFL at the end of last season as they overcame Torquay United in a dramatic Play-Off Final penalty shootout at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate.
The Victoria Park outfit nearly went out of business following their relegation to the National League in 2017 but found a way back under the remarkable stewardship of Dave Challinor last term.
Challinor defected to ambitious Stockport County at the start of November and Pools subsequently turned to former player Graeme Lee to take the reins at the North-East club.
Since then, Lee has overseen a memorable FA Cup journey which came to an end at Premier League Crystal Palace on Saturday, while they are also through to the semi-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy.
However, replicating cup form in the league has not been straightforward and Pools have collected just once in their last 13 League Two outings ahead of this evening’s meeting with The Bluebirds.
One To Watch
Hartlepool’s search for a new striker during the January transfer window saw them pay Doncaster Rovers an undisclosed fee to take Omar Bogle to Victoria Park.
Bogle made his name during a goal-laden spell at Grimsby Town as they won promotion from the National League, and he went on to make big-money moves to Wigan Athletic and then Cardiff City.
A powerful front man with a keen eye for goal, Bogle is yet to open his account for Pools in his first two games but Barrow will need to stay focused to ensure he doesn’t get off the mark tonight.
Head To Head
The Bluebirds edged an entertaining encounter between the sides 3-2 at The Dunes Hotel Stadium in the opening month of the campaign in what was the first meeting at Football League level since 1972.
Pools did win on their last visit to Barrow when the sides clashed in the National League in September 2019 when they took the points thanks to Ryan Donaldson’s breakaway goal.
In total, the clubs have met some 92 times in competitive action in fixtures dating back to the first season in Division Three North in 1921/22.
Peter Wright will oversee his second Barrow game of the current season this evening when he’s on the whistle for our trip to face Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.
The official, who is into his fourth season on the EFL’s list of referees, also took charge of The Bluebirds during our 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient at The Dunes Hotel Stadium in October.
His most recent appointment came at the end of last month when he saw Stevenage score three unanswered goals past Harrogate Town at The Lamex Stadium.
Fans can buy their tickets for tonight’s game now via the hosts’ Online Tickets Portal, while there will also be availability from the Victoria Park Ticket Office ahead of kick-off.
We’re delighted to confirm that fans in the UK and abroad will be able to watch all the action from Victoria Park live online with us on iFollow.
Midweek games are available for us to stream live so you can watch for yourself as Mark Cooper’s men look to back up their win on the road at Northampton last week with another in the North-East.
Video Match Passes are on sale right now priced at just £10 and every fan who buys one will be directly supporting The Bluebirds.
We are also providing live online audio commentary from every game this season on iFollow as we continue our broadcast partnership with BBC Radio Cumbria.
Fans will be able to listen to expert Bluebirds commentator Adam Johnson, who will have former Bluebirds boss Lee Turnbull alongside him at The Vic this evening.
You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.
Hartlepool United have been installed as 11/8 favourites for three points this evening, with Barrow rated a 2/1 prospect for victory and a draw priced up at 21/10 by our friends at Sky Bet.