Hartlepool United team news: Matthew Bates shuffles his pack for Middlesbrough clash

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates has opted to shuffle his pack ahead of the National League big kick-off next with selection suggesting a change in formation.

Bates appears to have stuck with the three at the back which has served him so well, with Carl Magnay and Andrew Davies in the centre assisted by Peter Kioso.

Further forward Conor Newton gets a run, as do Ryan Donaldson and Josh Hawkes.

Niko Muir is up top with Luke James.

As for the opposition, with Boro's game against Sunderland being called off last night, Tony Pulis has opted to send a number of first-team players to the Vic for a run out.

Dimi Konstantopoulos returns to his old stomping. He starts between the sticks for the Championship side.

Pools XI: Scott Loach, Peter Kioso, Mark Kitching, Carl Magnay, Andrew Davies, Conor Newton, Liam Noble, Ryan Donaldson, Josh Hawkes, Niko Muir, Luke James.

Subs: Ryan Catterick, Louis Laing, Lewis Hawkins, Michael Woods, Jake Cassidy, Nicky Featherstone, Myles Anderson, Kenton Richardson, Paddy McLaughlin, Marcus Dinanga.