Tranmere Rovers are set to welcome Hartlepool United to Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon, in the Pools first away trip under the leadership of John Askey.
Tranmere have been making steady progress in the league and find themselves just inside the top half of the table in 12th position. Rovers have amassed 47 points so far this campaign, following 13 wins, 8 draws, and 13 defeats.
Tranmere’s home form since the new year has been highly impressive. Rovers have only been defeated at Prenton Park once in six outings and they beat the league leaders, Leyton Orient in a shock upset at the end of January.
Last Weekend, Tranmere pulled off another eye-catching result as they beat Stevenage who occupy 2nd place in the League. Josh Hawkes’ 74th-minute penalty proved decisive at The Lamex Stadium, as Tranmere put in a fantastic performance to secure a 1-0 victory in Hertfordshire.
Micky Mellon’s side were able to follow up this impressive victory on Tuesday night as they welcomed Crawley to Prenton park. Once again, a second-half goal was decisive, this time it was Jordan Turnbull who found the winner, netting his third goal of the season.
Two wins in the space of four days has kept Tranmere’s slim playoff hopes alive, as they are just eight points off the playoff places, with there being 12 games left in the season. A win this weekend could further bolster Tranmere’s play-off ambitions.
The visitors are well and truly involved in a relegation battle and they currently find themselves in 22nd place in the League Two table, having picked up just 28 points from their 34 league games so far this campaign. Crucially, Hartlepool has played three more games than Crawley who sit below them in the table.
In a bid for survival, Hartlepool parted ways with Keith Curle last week and swiftly appointed John Askey as manager. Askey has vast experience in the Football League, having managed in League One with Shrewsbury Town, League Two with Port Vale and a promotion-winning campaign in the National League with Macclesfield Town
Last weekend, Hartlepool welcomed Walsall to The Suit Direct Stadium in John Askey’s first game at the helm. The Pools earned an unlikely point as they came from behind to draw 3-3 in a thrilling game. Walsall led 3-1 in the 90th minute before extra-time goals from Connor Jennings and Daniel Kemp rescued a point for Hartlepool.
Neither team could break the deadlock when these sides met in the reverse fixture at the start of the campaign. Despite having a combined 19 shots in the game, strong performances from both keepers ensured that both sides would retain a clean sheet and earn a vital point.
Tranmere are heavily favoured at the bookies ahead of this matchup and are currently priced @ 4/6, whilst an away win for Hartlepool is priced @ 4/1. We are backing Josh Hawkes to score and win @ 10/3 as he has been pivotal to Tranmere’s recent successes in the league.