Scout report: Why Hartlepool must be wary of Barnet and their free-scoring striker signing

Barnet travel to Hartlepool United this weekend
Barnet travel to Hartlepool United this weekend

Hartlepool United welcome Barnet - and the BT Sport cameras - to the Super 6 Stadium this weekend, but what should Pools be expecting?

The Bees have proved to be a regular foe for Pools over recent years, with the two sides meeting regularly in League Two, but they will now lock horns once again in a pivotal National League clash.

With both teams chasing a play-off berth, three points either way could prove vital.

But what should Hartlepool United expect from their visitors? Here's an in-depth look at Barnet:

What system will Barnet play?

Barnet tend to operate in a traditional 4-4-2 formation, although they have been known to switch things up to combat the opposition.

Two out-and-out goalscorers lead the line while two robust banks of four provide protection and stability behind them.

READ: Matthew Bates on tactics, Donaldson and Richardson
Out wide, the Bees tend to see their wingers push forward into attacking areas meaning they will have to be marshalled carefully by Pools’ backline.

Who are Barnet’s key players?

New signing Mo Bettamer is one to watch carefully - and the striker is a player that Matthew Bates will undoubtedly be aware of after he netted for Braintree against Pools earlier this season.

The free-scoring striker recently made the move to the Hive after impressing at Braintree and, while yet to score for the Bees, will be keen to hit the goal trail at the Super 6 Stadium.

Alongside him, ex-Tottenham youngster Shaquille Coulthirst has impressed while midfielder Wesley Fonguck has six goals of his own.

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At the back, stopper Mark Cousins provides some valuable experience while Cheye Alexander has impressed at full-back.

Do Barnet have any injury worries?

Barnet have no fresh injury worries ahead of their trip to the North East, meaning manager John Still could opt to name an unchanged side from that which drew with League One side Bristol Rovers last weekend.

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

A familiar name in the non-league management scene, Still has been in the dugout for over 40 years after taking the reigns at Leytonstone in 1976.

This is the 68-year-old’s third spell in charge of Barnet having previously led the side between 1997 and 2000 and later 2001 and 2002.

READ: Matthew Bates is facing these FIVE key decisions
Still has also enjoyed success at Dagenham and Redbridge and Luton in recent years, and is now plotting a return to the Football League with Barnet.

What form have Barnet been in?

After being relegated from League Two last season, Barnet have struggled for consistency in the National League this year - despite being tipped by many to be challenging for promotion.

The Bees have won seven and lost seven thus far, and that form has seen them consigned to mid-table - currently sitting in 13th, three places and points behind Pools.

Just two wins in their last six outings could be a cause for concern, but a draw against higher-level opposition in Bristol Rovers last weekend could prove a confidence boost.

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