Scout report: Why Hartlepool will have to focus on a 23-goal striker when they face promotion-chasing AFC Fylde

Hartlepool united make the trip across the country to Lancashire to face Fylde on Tuesday night - but what should they expect?

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:43 pm
What should Hartlepool United expect from AFC Fylde this evening?

When the Coasters made the trip up to Victoria Park earlier in the season they won 2-1, so Craig Hignett will be looking to put the record straight under the floodlights in the North West.

Since then Fylde have been a constant name in the play-off places, so here's what you need to know about Pools' promotion chasing opponents:

What system will Fylde play?

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After a small test of five at the back at the start of January, long term manager Dave Chanllinor have reverted back to four defenders in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Thanks to the money being put into the club, Challinor has a big squad to select from with the focus being on youth.

They haven't won with this formation in four games however, with their last three points coming as a 4-4-2 against Maidenhead.

Before the turn of the calendar year though, the most used formation from Fylde was a 4-1-4-1, showing they prefer to operate with a lone striker.

Who are Fylde's key players?

Anyone who watches a lot of National League football knows about the division's top strikers - and Danny Rowe will be one of the names mentioned.

The former Manchester united youngster has scored 47 National league goals over the last two years including 23 in this campaign so far.

Andy Bond is a goal threat from midfield. The 32 year old joined from Crawley Town in 2016 and has scored six times so far this season.

At the back, Zaine Francis-Angol could be vital for the hosts. The wing back has been instrumental in the club's success this season, playing in 33 of 36 league matches.

Do Fylde have any injury worries?

As it stands, Fylde to not have any injury issues coming into the game.

Despite this, they have played a lot of games this season thanks to cup runs and tonight could be a chance to rest some of the squad with other games in mind.

Saturday is a huge game for the club as they host Stockport County in the first leg of the FA Trophy semi final and they may want a fully-fit squad ahead of the weekend.

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

Dave Challinor has been in charge at the club since 2011 and has pulled them up the divisions since his first season in the Northern Premier League Division One North.

He dropped two divisions to take the job from Conference North side Colwyn Bay and has built impressive sides throughout his time at the club.

At 43, the former Tranmere, Stockport and Bury defender is one of the younger managers in the league but still has nine years of management experience under his belt.

What form have Fylde been in?

Fylde have only lost two games so far in 2019 and they've only failed to score in two of their last 23 matches.

Although they are in the play-off places, the tight nature of the division means they will need to continue picking up points if they want to stay in the top seven.

Last six league matches: DWWLDW