Fixture: Accrington Stanley v Northampton Town
Date/kick-off time: Saturday, August 29, 3pm kick-off
Venue: Wham Stadium
Weather forecast: 16C, showers
Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Ricky Holmes (back), Zander Diamond (dead leg), Brendan Moloney (knee), Evan Horwood (groin)
Betting: Accrington 11/5, draw 23/10, Cobblers 5/4
Form guide: Stanley DWLDDD, Cobblers LLLWWW
Likely line-ups: Accrington (4-4-1-1): Mooney; Pearson, Winnard, Davies, Buxton; Mingoia, Conneely, Crooks, McConville; Windass; Gornell. Northampton (4-2-3-1): Smith, Yates, McDonald, Cresswell, Buchanan; Byrom, Taylor; Potter, Adams, D’Ath; Richards.
Man in the middle: Sebastian Stockbridge
Last time out: Notts County 1 (Burke) Accrington Stanley 1 (Crooks); Newcastle United 4 (Thauvin, De Jong, Janmaat, Williamson) Northampton Town 1 (Richards)
Most recent meeting: January 31, 2015 – Accrington 1 (Mingoia) Northampton 5 (Holmes, Richards 2, D’Ath 2)
Opposition view: Stanley boss John Coleman told the club’s website: “Everytime we go and play at home we’ve got to believe we can win and set out to win. Obviously we want to win away from home as well, but we’ve got to try to make our ground a really formidable place to go to. We go into Northampton believing we can win. Not because they’ve lost their last two games – they’re a good side in their own right – but every team we play at home we’ve got to believe we can win.”
Cobblers connection: Leicester City loanee Ryan Watson will return to the club where he had a very brief loan spell in 2012. Having come through the ranks at Wigan, the then 19-year-old made his professional debut for Accrington against Morecambe in the Football League Trophy in September 2012. His loan spell was cut short, however, as he returned to Wigan just nine days later.
James Heneghan’s preview: The Cobblers have fond memories of the Wham Stadium, as it is now known, having won on their last three visits to Accrington, including a thumping 5-1 victory when the two sides last met in January of this year, and how they would dearly love to make that four in a row this weekend.
A repeat of that 5-1 win, which also featured a red card for Ryan Cresswell before half-time, this time around would mark a welcome return to form for Wilder’s side who, after winning their opening three games, have now lost their last three, scoring only one goal and conceding seven.
Accrington were tipped by many to struggle this season, including the bookmakers, but they’ve made a decent start - picking up five points from their opening four games - and Stanley boss John Coleman has a fully-fit squad to choose from for tomorrow’s clash as they look to stretch their unbeaten run to three games.
Their side will include former Watford midfielder and one to watch Piero Mingoia as well as Josh Windass, son of Dean.
The same can’t be said for Cobblers gaffer Chris Wilder, who remains without Brendan Moloney, Evan Horwood and Ricky Holmes while Zander Diamond is a doubt.
Adam Yates is likely to keep his place at right-back despite Josh Lelan returning from suspension.
If recent history between these two is anything to go by, it certainly promises to be an entertaining watch. The two games last season yielded 15 goals between them with the clash at Sixfields ending 5-4 to Accrington after a dramatic finish which saw five goals in the final 15 minutes.
The Cobblers gained their revenge in the following fixture, Marc Richards and Lawson D’Ath both bagging a brace in a 5-1 triumph, and though a similar result is unlikely, any positive outcome this weekend would help put Northampton’s season back on track.
Prediction: Accrington 1 Cobblers 2