MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 13:35:45| >> :120:72879:72879:
Jun 20, 2021 at 2pm UK at Ashton Gate Stadium
HartlepoolHartlepool United
Torquay UtdTorquay United
Armstrong (35')
Johnson (7'), Oates (56'), Armstrong (80')
Lucas (90+5')
Moxey (45'), Lewis (56'), Little (76')
Hartlepool win 5-4 on penalties

Preview: Hartlepool United vs. Torquay United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's National League clash between Hartlepool United and Torquay United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Torquay United head into the National League playoff final against Hartlepool United having put together a 14-match unbeaten streak.

While the South-coast outfit are the marginal favourites for the showdown at Ashton Gate, Hartlepool are on a high after edging out Stockport County on away territory in the semi-finals.

Match preview

Hartlepool United's Ryan Donaldson and manager Dave Challinor celebrate after the game on June 13, 2021© Reuters

Having suffered three defeats from their final five fixtures, there was every indication that Hartlepool were running out of steam ahead of the playoffs.

However, Dave Challinor's side have looked re-energised during their fixtures with Bromley and Stockport, recording victories in contrasting styles to book their place in Sunday's final.

The Monkey Hangers scored three first-half goals to outclass their first opponents before a late strike from Rhys Oates proved decisive in the last-four clash at Edgeley Park.

Having inflicted a rare home defeat on Stockport, Challinor and his Hartlepool squad will be full of confidence ahead of facing a team who ended the regular campaign in second position.

Despite missing out on the title to Sutton United, Torquay have been remarkably consistent this season, their longest winless run being a three-match streak during March.

Since then, Gary Johnson has witnessed his team prevail in 11 of their next 17 matches, the only reverse coming by a 1-0 scoreline at Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Gulls went into the playoffs on the back of four draws in succession, but they showed character in outlasting Notts County during their semi-final clash at Plainmoor.

Forward Danny Wright netted a double during that contest, finding some form after spending the majority of 2021 on the sidelines.

While Hartlepool won the most recent fixture between these two teams by a solitary goal, Torquay hit five past their next opponents on away territory in October.

Hartlepool United National League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Torquay United National League form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Given the level of performance against Stockport, Challinor will consider selecting the same Hartlepool XI from that fixture.

However, first-choice goalkeeper Ben Killip is back in contention after injury, while Lewis Cass could feature if he is able to shake off a hamstring problem.

Barring any late fitness issues, Johnson is expected to stick with the Torquay side which edged out Notts County.

Despite featuring regularly this season, Jake Andrews will almost certainly remain among the replacements.

Hartlepool United possible starting lineup:
James; Odusina, Johnson, Liddle; Sterry, Featherstone, Holohan, Shelton, Ferguson; Oates, Armstrong

Torquay United possible starting lineup:
Lucas; Wynter, Sherring, Cameron, Lewis; Hall, Randell; Lemonheigh-Evans, Little, Moxey; Wright

SM words green background

We say: Hartlepool United 1-2 Torquay United

Any team recording a win and clean sheet at Stockport this season deserves respect, and Hartlepool will get that from their opponents. However, we cannot ignore Torquay's form during the latter stages of the regular campaign, leading us to back a narrow victory for the Gulls.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:curl

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25292276
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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