Scout report: Ex-Arsenal man key for Sutton at Hartlepool as former Middlesbrough captain misses out

Hartlepool will lock horns with Sutton once again this weekend
Hartlepool will lock horns with Sutton once again this weekend

Hartlepool United will once again lock horns with Sutton this weekend - but what should they expect?

Matthew Bates' men are in a fine vein of form but will face another stern test of their promotion credentials when the U's come to the Super 6 Stadium.

Here's everything you need to know about Pools' next opponents - including a couple of dangermen:

What system will Sutton United play?

Sutton United tend to operate in a 4-2-3-1 formation, or a slight variation of it, and did so in their FA Cup triumph over Wealdstone last week.

The system offers the U’s plenty of flexibility in the forward areas, with their four most attacking players able to freely interchange between positions which can cause some defensive headaches.

READ: Matthew Bates has this rallying call for Hartlepool United fans

At the back, meanwhile, there is Football League experience which is added to in midfield - with the Amber and Chocolates enjoying strength in depth in the centre of the park.

Who are Sutton United’s key players?

Former Arsenal youngster Craig Eastmond is one danger man, and has four goals to his name already this season.

With bags of energy and a creative streak, he’ll need to be watched carefully.

Equally effective in an attacking sense are wingers Tom Bolarinwa and Kieran Cadogan - both of whom have played higher up the football pyramid.

Meanwhile at the back, ex-Barnet defender Charlie Clough is a reliable presence.

Do Sutton United have any injury worries?

The U’s have no fresh injury worries - but they will be without one key player.

MORE: Bates talks tactics and why he is working on THREE formations

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Nicky Bailey will be missing after he was sent-off in their FA Cup triumph last weekend - in what will undoubtedly be a blow.

The ex-Boro man captained the side for a brief spell, and played alongside current Pools boss Matthew Bates.

Who is Sutton United’s manager and what can we expect from them?

Paul Doswell is the man in charge at Sutton United, and has been since 2008 - making him the longest-serving manager in the top five divisions of English football.

He guided Eastleigh to three promotions and has excelled at Sutton since joining.

READ: Hartlepool United striker has been set this challenge

Well-versed in non-league, Doswell has his side playing a direct and effective style of football which is difficult to combat.

What form have Sutton United been in?

Sutton’s recent form has been impressive, so it’s no surprise to see them just one place and two points behind Pools in the National League table.

The U’s have lost just twice in their last 11 outings in a run of form which has seen them continue to flirt with the play-off places.

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