Jefferson Lake’s Northampton Town versus Morecambe preview

Ivan Toney scored the winner in the Cobblers' trip to Morecambe earlier this season
Ivan Toney scored the winner in the Cobblers' trip to Morecambe earlier this season

Fixture: Northampton Town v Morecambe

Date/kick-off time: Saturday, February 7, 3pm

Venue: Sixfields Stadium, Northampton

Weather forecast: 5C, sun/cloud

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Ian Morris (knee), Kaid Mohamed (broken metatarsal), Tom Newey (ankle), Ryan Cresswell (suspended - 1 of 1). Morecambe: Barry Roche (hip), Stuart Drummond (knee)

Betting: Northampton 4/5, draw 5/2, Morecambe 7/2

Form guide: Cobblers WWWWDL, Morecambe DDDDDDW

Possible line-ups: Northampton (4-4-1-1): Duke, Moloney, Diamond, Collins, Horwood, D’Ath, Taylor, Byrom, Holmes, O’Toole, Richards. Morecambe: (3-4-3): Arestidou; Parrish, Hughes, Edwards; Beeley, Goodall, Fleming, Wilson; Redshaw, Devitt, Amond

Last time out: Cobblers beat Accrington 5-1 (Holmes, Richards 2, D’Ath 2), Morecambe drew 1-1 with Wimbledon (Amond)

Most recent meeting: Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Morecambe 0 Northampton 1 (Toney)

Cobblers connection: Former Cobblers left-back Lee Colkin spent two years as a Morecambe player, making 62 appearances between 2001 and 2003. Turned professional at the County Ground in 1992 and then moved to Sixfields, where he stayed until 1998, when he was released and joined Hednesford.

Jefferson Lake’s preview: The league two form team and the division’s draw specialists square off at Sixfields this weekend as Morecambe become the latest side to test the Cobblers’ recently-discovered red-hot form.

For Town, it is very much a case of the same again but with one tweak in defence, where Zander Diamond replaces Ryan Cresswell.

The impact of this change is minimal because Diamond is an experienced player and although his ability to attack the ball in the opposing penalty area is not the same as Cresswell’s, he is a more than adequate replacement.

Expect Northampton to again start quickly against a Morecambe side which has drawn its past five games - a feature of the victories over Newport and Accrington were the brisk starts in which the team tries to get on the front foot as quickly as possible.

Morecambe will use the 3-4-3 system which has served them well in recent weeks, in which former Sixfields sweeper Mark Hughes plays as the central defender in the back three.

Their consistency of team selection matches that of the Cobblers and they are not expected to make any changes to the starting line-up.

Manager Jim Bentley favours a solid and conservative approach and tinkering is kept to a bare minimum, a strategy illustrated by the fact that no new additions were made to the Morecambe squad in the January transfer window.

With that in mind, their wide players (who are both full-backs by trade) may drop in to make a five-man defence at times and Jamie Devitt will play more as a withdrawn number 10 behind the front two of Jack Redshaw and Padraig Amond.

There are no concerns with the pitch at Sixfields, which has been covered all week to protect it against sub-zero temperatures.

Prediction: Northampton 2 Morecambe 0