James Heneghan’s Notts County v Northampton Town preview

County striker and former Cobbler Izale McLeod is suspended for this weekend's clash
County striker and former Cobbler Izale McLeod is suspended for this weekend's clash

Fixture: Notts County v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two

Date/time: Saturday, November 21, 3pm kick-off

Venue: Meadow Lane

Forecast: 3C, sunny.

Outs and doubts: County: Julian Jenner (suspended), Izale McLeod (suspended). Cobblers: Paul Corry (knee), Ricky Holmes (back)

Betting: County 13/10, draw 12/5, Northampton 2/1

Form guide: Magpies LWDDWL, Cobblers WWDWWL

Avg. goals scored/conceded per game: County 1.2/1.4, Cobblers 1.6/1.2

Likely line-ups: County (4-4-2): Carroll; Hewitt, Edwards, Sheehan, Barmby; Noble, Smith, Aborah, Thompson; Burke, Stead. Cobblers (4-4-1-1): Smith; Moloney, McDonald, Diamond, Buchanan; D’Ath, O’Toole, Byrom, Potter; Adams; Richards.

Man in the middle: Andy Davies

Last time out: Salford 2 (Webber, Allen) Notts County 0; Northampton 1 (Richards) Mansfield 0

Most recent meeting: Saturday, April 10, 2010 – Northampton Town 0 Notts County 1 (Davies)

Record v County: P53, W16, D10, L27

Opposition view: County boss Ricardo Moinz told the Mansfield Chad: “Northampton have their problems off the pitch, but I saw them beat Coventry. They are a good team. When there are problems like that, it brings the best out of people. It brings out hunger.

“In Richards they have a fantastic striker. They have Adams and Potter who have unbelievable movement. They are very disciplined. What we have to do is create scoring chances against immobile and static defenders. They are a good team, but pace, skill and penetration will be key.”

Cobblers connection: Chris Wilder will take his Northampton side back to familiar territory this weekend with County one of the 11 clubs he represented as a player. Following four years at Rotherham, the Cobblers boss spent the 1996/97 at Meadow Lane where he played all 46 games that season. His time at the Magpies was short-lived, though, as the following campaign he moved to Bradford City.

James Heneghan’s preview: With last weekend’s game at Wycombe postponed due to international call-ups, Notts County come into Saturday’s match against the Cobblers with their shock FA Cup defeat to Salford City still fresh in their minds.

To date, it’s not been the season any County fan envisaged following relegation from League One last season.

The Magpies currently lie 15th in League Two and their indifferent start to the season has left manager Ricardo Moniz under some pressure with the 51-year-old having taken over in April. This is the Dutchman’s first job in English football.

But County do boast an impressive home record this term with 16 of their 22 points coming at Meadow Lane, including six wins from their last seven home games in all competitions, and they have fond memories of playing the Cobblers having won 27 of the 53 meetings between the two.

Saturday will witness the first Magpies-Cobblers clash since 2010 when Ben Davies scored the only goal of the game as high-flying County took the spoils at Sixfields.

County’s team could include former Manchester United players Roy Carroll and Alan Smith but joint top scorer Izale McLeod is suspended having picked up five bookings this season.

The Cobblers continue to confound all expectations and circumstances with Chris Wilder’s side third in League Two which could become second with a win on Saturday.

Defenders Evan Horwood and Ryan Cresswell were both given run-outs in a behind-closed-doors game against Peterborough in midweek but Wilder may opt to stick with the same back four that kept a rare clean sheet in the victory over Mansfield last weekend.

Prediction: Notts County 1 Northampton 1