Hartlepool director of sport Chris Turner looks set to name a makeshift central defensive partnership of Ben Clark and Julian Cherel for the rearranged home clash with Oldham.

Sam Collins is suspended after he was booked for the fifth time this season in the 3-1 defeat at Leeds on Boxing Day while Gary Liddle is struggling with a hamstring problem he sustained in the same game.

Frenchman Cherel is set to make his first-team debut for the club, although he has played alongside Clark for the reserves.

Antony Sweeney is a doubt with a hamstring injury of his own while Denis Behan (ankle) and James Brown (knee) remain sidelined.

Winger Andy Monkhouse returns to the squad after serving a one-game suspension, with Leon McSweeney likely to drop to the bench.

Oldham boss Dave Penney will be without Paul Heffernan and Darryl Flahavan.

Doncaster striker Heffernan had one goal in four appearances for the Latics but his loan has expired and he has returned to the Keepmoat Stadium.

The second month of goalkeeper Flahavan's loan from Crystal Palace has run out and he has also gone back to his parent club.

Penney could be boosted by the return of Pawel Abbott and Chris Taylor after injury.

However, defender Reuben Hazell serves a one-match ban for picking up five yellow cards.

With neither side involved in the FA Cup this weekend, the clubs have taken advantage of a blank weekend to play each other after the original scheduled clash on Monday was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

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