Jefferson Lake’s Northampton Town v York City preview

CHANCE TO SHINE? - Ivan Toney is set for a recall to the Cobblers starting line-up against York City
CHANCE TO SHINE? - Ivan Toney is set for a recall to the Cobblers starting line-up against York City

Fixture: Northampton Town v York City

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

Venue: Sixfields Stadium, Northampton

Weather forecast: 5C, cloudy

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Ian Morris (knee), Kaid Mohamed (broken metatarsal), Zander Diamond (hamstring), John-Joe O’Toole (suspended). York: Jake Hyde (suspended)

Betting: Cobblers 6/5, draw 5/2, York 14/5

Form guide: Cobblers DLWWWW, York WDLLDL

Possible line-ups: Northampton (4-4-2): Duke; Moloney, Cresswell, Collins, Horwood; D’Ath, Taylor, Byrom, Holmes; Toney, Richards. York (4-2-3-1): Olejnik; McCoy, Zubar, Lowe, Benning; Halliday, Penn; Sinclair, Coulson, Carson; Fletcher

Last time out: Cobblers drew 1-1 at Mansfield (Richards), York City won 2-0 against Tranmere (Fletcher 2)

Most recent meeting: Saturday, August 16, 2014 - York City 1 Cobblers 1 (Richards)

Cobblers connection: York City’s current manager, Russell Wilcox, has a name which is etched permanently in Northampton Town folklore, having been part of Graham Carr’s all-conquering fourth division champions in 1986/87. The centre-back made 38 appearances in that glorious season, scoring just once - in a 2-2 draw with Wrexham at the County Ground in December.

Jefferson Lake’s preview: York City arrive at Sixfields having put in their best performance of the season in their most recent match, with the 2-0 win over Tranmere allaying any immediate concerns about the potential relegation battle which lies ahead.

The Minstermen were a cut above Tranmere last weekend, recording a comfortable victory in which Rovers did not register a single effort on target.

Their primary problem in recent weeks has been an ability to score but that ailment seems to have been cured with four goals in their past two games, and two of those against Luton Town.

Although Cobblers supporters won’t look too far from Emile Sinclair as the eye-catcher in the York attack because of his Sixfields associations, the key player is Michael Coulson, who plays in a free role behind pacy striker Wes Fletcher but tends to drift more towards the right wing to find space.

Northampton will be forced into a change due to the suspension of John-Joe O’Toole and it is difficult to look far beyond Ivan Toney as the replacement for the club’s mercurial number 10.

Toney is a very different player to O’Toole and provides a very different kind of threat - where the latter is at his best on the ball and passing to speedy team-mates, the former is much more physical and capable of producing that type of improvised magic he did to win the penalty at Mansfield last Saturday.

Chris Wilder does have some other options, and one might be to move one of the wide players, Lawson D’Ath or Ricky Holmes, into the shadow striker position and restore Chris Hackett to the starting line-up.

With Zander Diamond still out with a hamstring injury, the rest of the team is likely to be unchanged and Northampton need to get back to winning ways after failing to win in their past two, with the gap to the Sky Bet League Two play-offs now eight points.

Prediction: Cobblers 2 York City 1