Scout report: Pools set for tricky test against Class of 92 and Manchester United inspired Salford

Graham Alexander is the man in charge of Salford
Graham Alexander is the man in charge of Salford

Hartlepool United will put their nine-game unbeaten run on the line at Salford City - and here's what they should expect from the National League title favourites.

Buoyed by another fine away win at Halifax Town on Saturday afternoon, Matthew Bates' men will be full of confidence ahead of one of their trickier tests of the season.

The Ammies have enjoyed a similarly successful start to the campaign and currently sit one point and place above Pools - with backing from Manchester United's Class of 92 leading to a rapid rise up the leagues.

But what should Hartlepool expect from a big-spending Salford side?

Our scout report tells you all you need to know ahead of the trip to Moor Lane:

What system will Salford City play?

Salford play an attacking 4-2-3-1 system which allows them to overload attacking areas without losing their defensive stability.

A vastly-experienced backline provides a firm base for the Ammies to build from, with a fluent and expressive front four then providing plenty of flair at the other end of the pitch.

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Expect the hosts to get the ball down and play some attractive football, while they will also look to stretch the game out wide and exploit the flanks wherever possible.

Who are Salford City's key players?

In a team packed full of players with Football League experience, there will be plenty of danger men that will Pools will need to be wary of.

Perhaps the most notable is star striker Adam Rooney, a big-money signing from Aberdeen who has netted seven times already this season.

Danny Lloyd was another eye-catching summer signing from Peterborough, while experienced stopper Chris Neal and centre back Nathan Pond will prove difficult to break down at the back.

MORE: Matthew Bates discusses transfer plans after Jake Cassidy's exit

Do Salford City have any injury worries?

Salford have no fresh injury worries, so are expected to name a full-strength side to take on Pools.

Who is Salford City's manager and what can we expect from them?

Former Burnley and Preston North End full-back Graham Alexander is in charge of Salford, in what is his third managerial role.

Having started his time in the dugout at Fleetwood Town in League Two, he quickly guided the Cod Army to promotion in what a highly-successful stint in charge.

He then moved to Scunthorpe United, where he had the Iron competing at the top of League One before being controversially dismissed last season.

But he wasn't out of work for long, with Salford coming calling for the promising young manager in the summer.

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Alexander likes his sides to play expressive, attacking football - so don't expect the Ammies to shut up shop on Tuesday evening.

What form have Salford City been in?

Similarly to Pools, Salford are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run - with seven of those games having ended in victory.

Alexander's side are currently sat fourth in the National League and just one point above Pools having lost just twice all season.

The Ammies also have one of the best offensive records in the league, having netted 20 times in just 12 games.

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