Scout report: Why ex-Barcelona and Birmingham stars will cause Hartlepool headaches at Bromley

Ex-Birmingham City man Roger Johnson could feature for Bromley
Ex-Birmingham City man Roger Johnson could feature for Bromley

Hartlepool United will look to bounce back from successive defeats when they travel to Bromley - but the hosts themselves will have designs on reversing a poor run of form.

Despite some spirited displays, Matthew Bates' men have narrowly lost out to promotion rivals Sutton United and Wrexham in the past week and will be looking to bounce back at struggling Bromley.

But the Ravens have a squad packed with quality and could be ready to spring a surprise on Pools.

But what do we know about Saturday's hosts? Here's a comprehensive look at what to expect from Bromley:

What system will Bromley play?

Bromley tend to operate in a 4-2-3-1 formation, or a slight variation of it, and did so in their 4-2 defeat to Braintree in midweek.

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With plenty of vastly experienced players in their ranks, the Ravens have strength in depth which is not reflected by their league position.

An experienced defensive line is complemented by a tough-tackling midfield engine rooms - which helps provide the base for a creative, pacy and interchangeable front four.

Who are Bromley’s key players?

There are certainly some recognisable names in the Bromley squad - and perhaps none more so than Roger Johnson.

The former Birmingham City centre back brings Premier League experience and, while he has been absent from the squad in recent weeks, a return is possible.

Further up the field, new signing Joe Quigley netted on his debut in midweek while Omar Bugiel (six goals), Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (five goals) and Frankie Sutherland (five goals) have also looked lively this season.

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Also worth watching is Joan Luque, a former Barcelona academy prospect who has excelled in the lower leagues and signed on loan from Lincoln City.

Do Bromley have any injury worries?

There are no fresh injury worries for the Ravens, who will have a full squad to choose from.

Changes are a possibility, however, after a disappointing midweek defeat.

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

Ex-professional football Neil Smith is the man in charge at Bromley, having taken the reigns in 2016.

After a playing career which saw him represent Gillingham, Fulham and Reading among others, Smith quickly transitioned into coaching after his retirement.

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A spell at Woking on an interim basis was followed-up by a first permanent role at Welling, before Smith joined Bromley in 2011 as assistant manager.

Since then, he has guided the club to sustained growth which has culminated in them becoming an established force in the National League.

What form have Bromley been in?

Inconsistent results have been Bromley’s downfall this season, meaning they currently sit 17th in the National League.

A run of four straight defeats saw them fall down the table, but there has been a resurgence of late which has seen the Ravens win three of their last six outings.

However, back-to-back defeats have seen Bromley lose ground as they look to push up the table - and they will be keen to right those wrongs this weekend.

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