James Heneghan’s Northampton Town v Carlisle United preview

Alfie Potter has returned to training and could be involved tonight
Alfie Potter has returned to training and could be involved tonight

Fixture: Northampton Town v Carlisle United, Sky Bet League Two

Date/time: Tuesday, October 20, 7.45pm kick-off

Venue: Sixfields Stadium

Forecast: 11C, cloudy

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Lawson D’Ath (suspended – 1 of 3), Ricky Holmes (back), Rod McDonald (knee), Paul Corry (knee). Carlisle: Jabo Ibehre (hamstring), Charlie Wyke (foot)

Betting: Northampton 17/20, draw 13/5, Carlisle 3/1

Form guide: Cobblers LWLWDD, Carlisle WLWWLD

Likely line-ups: Northampton (4-4-1-1): Smith; Furlong, Brisley, Cresswell, Buchanan; Hackett, Byrom, O’Toole, Adams; Hoskins; Richards. Carlisle (4-3-3): Gillespie; Miller, Raynes, Atkinson, Grainger; Kennedy, Joyce, Sweeney; Gilliead, Wyke, Asamoah.

Man in the middle: Luton-born official Graham Horwood will take charge of his first game of the season on Tuesday evening. He reffed Northampton twice last year, the Cobblers winning away from home on both occasions, and in total, Horwood officiated 27 games in the 2014/15 campaign, dishing out 85 yellow cards and five reds.

Last time out: Cambridge 2 (Dunk, Corr) Northampton 1 (Richards); Carlisle 1 (Gilliead) Exeter 0

Most recent meeting: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - Northampton Town 0 Carlisle United 2 (Kennedy, Dempsey)

Cobblers connection: Cumbrians forward Derek Asamoah signed his first professional contract at Northampton Town after a short trial with the club in 2001. The now 34-year-old enjoyed a successful time at Sixfields, scoring 36 goals in 120 appearances. He then had spells at Mansfield, Lincoln and Shrewsbury before going on a mini world tour between 2007 and 2013 in which time he played for clubs in France, Scotland, South Korea and Bulgaria. Asamoah joined Carlisle exactly one year ago and has scored seven league goals in 35 games in that time.

James Heneghan’s preview: With just one point and two places separating these two sides in Sky Bet League Two, both Northampton and Carlisle can climb to as high as fourth with a win this evening.

The Cobblers would have come into the game sitting above United had they managed at least a draw against Cambridge on Saturday, but instead it’s tonight’s visitors who occupy the final play-off place thanks to a narrow 1-0 home win over Exeter.

Games involving Carlisle certainly don’t lack for entertainment this season with the Cumbrians only failing to score in one league game, but while Keith Curle’s men like to score goals at one end – third top scorers in League Two – they’re also prone to letting a few in having conceded a goal in all but two of their 16 matches in all competitions this season.

One of those games came at Anfield last month when Carlisle almost caused a major upset in the Capital One Cup, pushing Liverpool all the way before losing in a penalty shoot-out.

United could be without their main man and top scorer Jabo Ibehre this evening with the tall striker recovering from a hamstring problem. The 32-year-old has eight goals this season, the second most in League Two.

But Northampton will have to be wary of teenage winger Alex Gilliead, who scored the winner against Exeter on Saturday and has been impressing many onlookers since signing on loan from Newcastle United last month.

Lawson D’Ath misses the first of his three-game suspension which may pave the way for the transfer-listed Chris Hackett to stake another claim for a regular starting spot.

Alfie Potter should be fit enough for at least a place on the bench while both Brendan Moloney and Evan Horwood could make their first appearance of the season.

Prediction: Northampton 3 Carlisle 2