Fixture: Coventry City v Northampton Town, Checkatrade Trophy
Date/time: Tuesday, October 4, 7.45pm kick-off
Venue: Ricoh Arena
Forecast: 14C, cloudy
Outs and doubts: Coventry: Andy Rose, Chris Stokes, Kwame Thomas. Cobblers: Gabriel Zakuani (international duty)
Betting: Coventry 8/5, draw 9/4, Northampton 7/4
Form guide: City WDLDDL, Cobblers LWWLLW
Possible line-ups: Coventry: Burge, Willis, Harries, Turnbull, Kelly-Evans, Haynes, McCann, Bigirimana, Lameiras, Sordell, Agyei. Northampton: Cornell, Phillips, Diamond, Nyatanga, Buchanan, Potter, O’Toole, Byrom, Gorre, Hooper, Richards
Last time out: Port Vale 0 Coventry 2 (Sordell, McCann); Northampton 2 (Revell 2) Bristol Rovers 3
Most recent meeting: Saturday, August 27, 2016 – Coventry 1 (Tudgay) Northampton 1 (Beautyman)
James Heneghan’s preview: The new-look Checkatrade Trophy has few admirers among football lovers in this country but nonetheless Northampton head up to Coventry City this evening for the second of three group games.
A 3-0 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers in the first round of matches makes tonight’s clash a must-win if Rob Page wants to progress – although I somehow doubt he’d shed too many tears if they did bow out at the group stage.
Again Page is restricted by the competition’s rules in terms of who he can and can’t pick. Despite being in the middle of a hectic run of seven games in 21 days, Page must pick at least six players that started Saturday’s game against Bristol Rovers or six of Town’s top 11 appearances makers this season.
Unless the club are willing to accept a £5,000 fine, those rules means that not all of his fringe players will make an appearance with the likes of Rod McDonald, Lawson D’Ath, Joel Byrom, Alfie Potter, JJ Hooper, Marc Richards, Aaron Phillips and David Cornell all desperately short of game-time.
Coventry may be manager-less but they’re a team in good spirits following a long overdue first league victory of the season on Saturday when they beat Port Vale, Page’s old team, 2-0 under the guidance of caretaker manager Mark Venus.
It was only six weeks ago when Northampton last made the trip up the M1 to take on Coventry and though tonight’s clash carries far less significance, a repeat result could well be on the cards.
Prediction: Coventry City 1 Northampton 1