Rochdale v Hartlepool preview

Date published: Friday 2nd August 2013 11:02

Dale boss Keith Hill has a fully-fit first-team squad to choose from for his side’s opening-day fixture.

Hill drafted in 10 new faces during the close season, while the same number of players left the club, and has plenty of options for this weekend’s home encounter.

Key players Bobby Grant and Jason Kennedy departed to Blackpool and Bradford respectively this summer, but the likes of former Barnsley winger Matt Done, ex-Stoke midfielder Matty Lund and Bastien Hery, from Sheffield Wednesday, are expected to start in a new-look line-up.

Former Aldershot utility man Peter Vincenti and striker Scott Hogan, signed from Hyde, have also impressed during pre-season friendlies and are expected to make their competitive debuts.

Hartlepool manager Colin Cooper is expected to hand his only summer signing Jack Compton his debut in his first game in charge at Rochdale.

Winger Compton teamed back up with Cooper following his release from Colchester – the pair worked together at Bradford – and is likely to be handed a starting role.

Cooper, who replaced former boss John Hughes at Victoria Park in May, has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from with his only doubts being veteran Steve Howard, who is struggling for match fitness, and fellow striker Zak Boagey, who hopes to shake off a groin problem.

Howard will undergo a late fitness test as relegated Pools look to put last season’s disappointment quickly behind them.

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Rochdale v Hartlepool preview

Date published: Friday 26th August 2011 1:37

Rochdale are expected to include new signing Matthew Barnes-Homer in their squad.

The 25-year-old arrived this week on loan from Luton until January and could make his debut.

Goalkeeper Jake Kean is expected to return to the starting line-up against his former club.

Kean, on loan from Blackburn, spent the first half of last season at Victoria Park and should return after making way for David Lucas in the midweek Carling Cup win at QPR.

Defender Neal Trotman will return to contention after serving a one-game ban and manager Steve Eyre must decide whether to recall the summer signing from Preston or stick with Pim Balkestein in central defence.

Dutchman Balkestein made his first start for Dale at QPR following his recent arrival on loan from Brentford.

Midfielder Brian Barry-Murphy returned to full training this week following his knee injury and could be included in the squad for the first time this season.

Hartlepool midfielder Gary Liddle could return to action with the aid of a protective face mask.

Liddle has recently had surgery to repair a fractured cheekbone sustained in the opening seconds of the draw at Walsall earlier this month and has missed the last two matches.

But the 25-year-old returned to full training this week and first-team coach Mick Wadsworth is expected to include him in the squad.

Fellow midfielders Antony Sweeney (groin) and Nolberto Solano (hamstring) also returned to full training this week but will play no part in the clash at Spotland.

Another midfielder, Nathan Luscombe, sits out the final game of his three-match ban, so Ritchie Humphreys and Paul Murray look set to continue, while striker Colin Larkin is expected to retain his place.

Wadsworth has no new injury or suspension problems as Pools look to extend their unbeaten run and register their first win of the season.

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