Following a 1-1 draw at home to Nott's County last Saturday the Blades lay eighth in the League One table. However United are unbeaten this season but from the nine matches played to date have recorded six draws and have won just once in the last five fixtures.
Yet, a win looked on the cards against the Magpies and I am sure that Blades fans like myself will consider the game as 'two points lost' - United squander a hat full of opportunities to score until they finally did; Dave Kitson (51st minute) heading home Ryan Flynn's quick-fire crossing after Nick Blackman was denied twice in quick succession. Football villain Lee Hughes (76) levelled the scores following a badly defended corner and despite making further attempts to score, the Blades failed to do so and was forced to settle for a point.
Last season the two United's of Sheffield and Hartlepool faced each other three times last season. They first met in the League Cup on 9 August with the Blades edging the game on penalties (4-3) following a 1-1 draw, Stephen Quinn (29) and Anthony Sweeney (80) on the score sheet.
In the league United completed the double over there opponents, in the last fixture of 2011 the Blades stormed to a three goal lead at half-time with strikes from Ryan Flynn (12), Chris Porter (34) and Ched Evans (42) but a late consolation from Pool succumbed to a 3-1 win. Evans was again on the mark (79) in the fixture at Victoria Park in a 1-0 win.
On the injury front, defender Lescinel Jean-Francois has reported on twitter that he has been given the ok to return to full training.
Blades boss Danny Wilson is likely to field defender Neill Collins to face his former club; he spent time at Victoria Park on loan (from Sunderland) between August 2005 and January 2006; making his debut in a 1-0 victory at Doncaster Rovers. He made 25 (+0) appearances in total.
Hartlepool United are stuck in the bottom four with just six points and only one win to there name - they lost last Saturday 3-1 at Colchester United despite taking a early lead through Craig Lynch (5), but a brace from Jabo Ihehre and one from Gavin Massey.
The Pool have no injury concerns, though veteran striker Steve Howard (formerly with Leicester City and Derby County) was doubtful for there trip to Colchester. However former Blade, Simon Walton is back in contention after recovering from an ankle injury. He had joined United on a season long loan from Plymouth Argyle in July 2010, however in a friendly at Mansfield Town (lost 0-1) he was badly injured and was sidelined for the entire season and soon returned to Home Park without making any professional appearances for the Red and White Wizards.
Blades-Mad Prediction: Hartlepool United 0-1 Sheffield United