Scout report: Ex-Middlesbrough skipper and former Arsenal duo will hand Hartlepool a tough assignment

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

Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:22 pm
Hartlepool United will travel to Sutton this weekend

Craig Hignett saw his unbeaten start to life back in the dugout end last weekend and will be keen to see his troops bounce back during the long away journey.

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

What system will Sutton United play?

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Sutton United tend to operate in a 4-4-2 formation, which offers the U’s plenty of stability at the back while ensuring their attacking options are not compromised.

A blend of youth and experience makes the Sutton side an effective one, and they still harbor play-off hopes ahead of this clash.

At the back 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.

Then up top, some flair and clinical finishing mean the side will need to be respected.

Sutton have also operated in a 4-2-3-1 formation this season.

Who are Sutton United’s key players?

Former Arsenal youngster Craig Eastmond is one danger man, and has six goals to his name 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 Josh Ayunga - whose pace and power can prove difficult to contain.

Meanwhile at the back, ex-Arsenal youngster Roarie Deacon has excelled at full-back.

Also in the squad is Nicky Bailey, a former Middlesbrough captain for a brief spell, but he has been absent from the line-up in recent weeks.

Do Sutton United have any injury worries?

The U’s have two players rated as doubts for the visit of Pools.

Brad Pearce (concussion) and Aswad Thomas (illness) will both be assessed ahead of the clash.

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.

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 have suffered a mixed bag of results recently, having won twice and lost three times during their last six outings.

But the U’s remain perched on the periphery of the play-offs, with only goal difference keeping them out of the top seven.

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