Hartlepool United vs Torquay UnitedEnglish National League, KO: 14:00 Jun 20, 2021, Ashton Gate
Promotion to League Two is the prize as Hartlepool United face Torquay United in the National League playoff final at Ashton Gate. Both teams often employ an open style of play and given the quality on display, goals can be expected.
Hartlepool reached Sunday’s final thanks to a 1-0 victory over Stockport County. After beating back several attacks from Stockport, they secured the victory through Rhys Oates’ long range stunner midway through the second half.
Hartlepool have played every stage of the playoffs and knocked off Bromley 3-2 in the elimination round. They have built some momentum heading into the final with four wins from their last five matches.
The one Blemish for manager Dave Challinor is his team’s backline which has kept just two clean sheets in their last 10 matches. However, they often balance things out with their potential in attack, particularly with the in-form Rhys Oates, who has scored 18 goals this season.
Torquay needed extra-time before seeing off Notts County 4-2 in the semi-finals. After battling to a 2-2 draw in regulation time thanks to a brace from Danny Wright, they gained the upper hand in the extra period with Asa Hall and Dean Moxley getting the goals.
The Gulls had an easier route to the final having been given a bye in the elimination round following a second-place finish in the regular season. They are currently on a 14-match unbeaten run, although four of the last five matches have ended in draws.
Like Hartlepool, Gary Johnson’s team has also struggled defensively, conceding six goals in their last four matches.
How the bookies view it
The bookies have installed Torquay as favourites with a win priced at 11/8 by bet365. The same firm is offering 15/8 for a Hartlepool victory while also backing a draw at odds of 23/10.
Hartlepool have looked more convincing than Torquay in recent weeks and should have the edge in Sunday’s final.
Head to head
Hartlepool have a fine record in this fixture with 14 wins from 29 previous matches. Torquay have been victorious just five times while both teams have played out 10 draws.
The Pools have won four of the last six fixtures and claimed a 1-0 victory in the most recent meeting back in March.
Players to watch
Rhys Oates has impressed for Hartlepool United in the playoffs, scoring four goals in his last three matches. The striker is priced at 13/5 by bet365 to score anytime while the first goal is valued at 7/1 by the same firm.
Torquay will hope veteran striker Danny Wright can continue his fine goalscoring form following his brace last time out. Bet365 has him at 7/4 in the anytime goalscorer market while also offering 5/1 for the first goal.
Anything else catch the eye?
Given the quality in both attacks, a flutter in the goals market is likely to provide some rewards. Over 3.5 goals is priced at odds of 3/1 by bet365, who are also offering 23/20 for an outcome of over 2.5 goals.
This English National League match between Hartlepool United and Torquay United will be played on Jun 20, 2021 and kick off at 14:00. Check below for our tipsters best Hartlepool United vs Torquay United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.