James Heneghan's Northampton Town v Macclesfield Town preview

Matt Crooks scored a first-half hat-trick as Cobblers thrashed Macclesfield 5-0 back in October. Pictures: Getty
Matt Crooks scored a first-half hat-trick as Cobblers thrashed Macclesfield 5-0 back in October. Pictures: Getty

Fixture: Northampton Town v Macclesfield Town, Sky Bet League Two

Date/time: Friday, April 19, 3pm kick-off

Venue: PTS Academy Stadium

Forecast: 19C, sunny

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Shaun McWilliams (hamstring). Macclesfield: Rhys Taylor (hip), James Pearson (knock)

Betting: Northampton 1/1, draw 23/10, Macclesfield 13/5

Daniel Powell made it 3-0

Daniel Powell made it 3-0

Form guide: Cobblers DDLLDW, Silkmen LWDDDW

Possible line-ups: Northampton (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode, Pierre, Turnbull; Facey, Elsnik, Foley, Pollock, Buchanan; Morias, A Williams. Macclesfield (3-5-2): O'Hara; Cameron, Kelleher, Jules; Pearson, Durrell, Rose, Cole, Fitzpatrick; Smith, Stephens.

Man in the middle: Kevin Johnson

Last time out: Northampton 1 (Foley) Mansfield 1; Forest Green 2 Macclesfield 0

Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell

Most recent meeting: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 -- Macclesfield 0 Northampton 5 (Crooks 3, Powell, Pierre)

Record v Macclesfield: P17 W10 D2 L5

Opposition view: Silkmen boss Sol Campbell: “We’ve got to patch ourselves up and go again as Easter is a massive weekend now. We need to make sure that we rest up and get our energy levels right before we go into those three days. We will keep on fighting until the end and hopefully get lucky here and there.”

Cobblers connection: Starting out as a trainee at Birmingham City, full-back Graham Potter spent a short time on loan with the Cobblers from West Brom in the late 1990s. Following spells at York, Boston and Shrewsbury, he then ended his playing career at Macclesfield Town in 2005 after making 64 appearances for the Silkmen.

Since then, the 43-year-old has made a successful transition into management, albeit having taken an unusual route, detouring via Ostersunds FK in Sweden, to his current position as head coach of Championship side Swansea City.

James Heneghan's preview: After declaring he has 'one of the greatest minds in football' after being rejected by Oxford United, former England defender Sol Campbell was finally given his opportunity to prove that claim when appointed by Macclesfield Town back in November.

Rooted to the foot of League Two with a measly 13 points from 20 games, and recently thumped 5-0 at home to the Cobblers, few can accuse Campbell of taking the easy route into management as Macclesfield's first campaign back in the Football League descended into a nightmare.

But they've recovered impressively since and much of the credit for their turnaround must go to the ex-Arsenal centre-back. Whilst they are far from out of trouble, their recent 3-2 victory over Exeter City was enough to climb out of the bottom two for the first time since the second game of the season.

The Silkmen have picked up 26 points from Campbell's 21 games in charge, good enough for 16th place in a league table between now and back at the time of his appointment, but with Notts County and Yeovil lurking only two points behind, his work remains far from complete.

Northampton themselves might not be embroiled in a relegation scrap -- thankfully -- but they will have a significant say over who stays up and who stays down this season. Having already drawn at basement boys Notts County this month, Good Friday's clash with Macclesfield is followed by the visit of second-bottom Yeovil Town next weekend.

With little to play for as they jostle over a mid-table place, manager Keith Curle has the opportunity to experiment during these final four fixtures as we inch towards the summer, and he's already suggested he'll make changes over the Easter weekend.

Teenage midfielder and academy prospect Scott Pollock produced more than enough against Mansfield Town to earn another start tomorrow and we may also see more minutes for Jay Williams, while Jack Newell and Bradley Lashley, both of whom joined Pollock and Williams in being offered professional contracts last month, are waiting in the wings for an opportunity.

Prediction: Northampton Town 3 Macclesfield Town 1