Hartlepool have done well to stay in the Football League in recent seasons and now it is time for them to enjoy themselves against Championship opposition.
Ronnie Moore did ever so well last season to keep Hartlepool in the Football League, with the club drifting away from safety, the former Rotherham manager came in and guided the team to safety.
The Pools are undoubtedly the underdogs in this match against high-flying Derby County. The Rams sit second in the Championship and are looking to make their way back to the top flight.
We could well see a few changes to the Derby side but manager Paul Clement must ensure that his side do not get complacent, as the likes of Billy Paynter and Scott Fenwick can and will take advantage.
Here are THREE things to look out for in Hartlepool’s FA Cup match against Derby:
1) There could potentially be a big upset
When drawn against a team two leagues lower than you, problems always begin to build up. How strong will Clement’s side be? Will the players become complacent?
As well as this Derby are away from home and the fans at Victoria Park will be loud and in good spirits as they know that their team have nothing to lose. In a match like this the pressure is all on Derby County.
The Rams could be unfazed by the potential land-mine and put in an efficient performance but against a team like Hartlepool with an experienced manager in Ronnie Moore, it will not be easy.
2) Carl Magnay and Michael Woods will be reuniting with Paul Clement
Unknown to many, Hartlepool’s Carl Magnay and Michael Woods used to work with Paul Clement when they were in Chelsea’s youth team and reserves.
While Magnay is currently injured and will likely not play, Woods will want to impress his former colleague and will likely start against Derby.
The magic of the FA Cup has brought three former colleagues together and there will be good spirits around Victoria Park on Saturday.
3) Nick Blackman could make his debut for Derby
Former Reading star Nick Blackman could make his anticipated debut against Hartlepool after Derby fought off the promotion rivals and Premier League sides for his capture.
The forward has been excellent so far this season and he could well score against The Pools.
He will want to impress his new coach and his new team-mates as he looks to bag his first goal. By the end of the season Blackman will want to have been an integral part in Derby’s season and this can start against Hartlepool.
Hartlepool and Derby fans…Do you think an upset is on the cards? Or will Derby show their superiority and win comfortably? Let us know what you think in the comments below!