James Heneghan's Bury v Northampton Town preview

Fixture: Bury v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two

Saturday, 20th April 2019, 10:12 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st April 2019, 12:27 pm
Sam Hoskins goes closing during Northampton's 0-0 draw with Bury earlier in the season. Pictures: Pete Norton

Date/time: Monday, April 22, 3pm kick-off

Venue: Gigg Lane

Forecast: 22C, sunny

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Keith Curle's first game in charge of the Cobblers was against Bury in October

Outs and doubts: Bury: Callum McFadzean. Cobblers: none.

Betting: Bury 7/10, draw 13/5, Northampton 18/5

Form guide: Shakers LWLLLD, Cobblers WDDLLD

Possible line-ups: Bury (3-5-2): Murphy; Aimson, Wharton, Stokes; Adams, O'Shea, Rossiter, Mayor, Moore; Telford, Maynard. Northampton (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode, Pierre, Turnbull; Facey, Foley, Pollock, Elsnik, Buchanan; D Powell, Morias.

Man in the middle: Michael Salisbury

Last time out: Newport 3 Bury 1 (Maynard); Northampton 3 (Bowditch, Powell, Morias) Macclesfield 1

Most recent meeting: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - Northampton 0 Bury 0

Record v Bury: P64 W23 D17 L24

Opposition view: “We had a lack of quality in certain areas and individuals, but the players have been brilliant, you feel for the lads and the fans, but we still have a great chance," said Ryan Lowe after Bury's defeat to Newport on Friday. “We’ve still got a massive opportunity to get promoted in these final three games, even though it isn’t in our hands now. It was a really tough game, we need to recover for Monday and go again.”

James Heneghan's preview: Easter Monday's trek up to stuttering Bury gives us an opportunity to take stock and assess Keith Curle's progress as Cobblers boss since his first game in charge against the Shakers nearly seven months ago.

When Bury arrived at the PTS on October 2, Town were 21st in League Two with seven points from 10 games, one above the bottom two, and Dean Austin had just been sacked, replaced by Curle the previous afternoon.

The Cobblers drew 0-0 with the in-form Shakers that evening and they've since won 50 points from 33 games to move away from the bottom two and safely into mid-table, though any hopes of a late play-off challenge quickly fizzled out due to their inconsistency.

Only seven teams in the division have a better record during the period between Curle's appointment and the present day, and whilst Bury are one of those seven - fourth best - their recent form offers hope for a second successive victory for the Cobblers on Monday.

A month or so ago, Bury were coasting towards promotion, sat second in League Two and five points clear of fourth, but their mounting off-field crsis - players and staff still remain unpaid for March - has unsurprisingly impacted their on-pitch form with four defeats in their last five, including a 3-1 defeat at Newport County on Good Friday.

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has promised changes for the trip to Gigg Lane and he has several options following Town's victory over Macclesfield Town.

Timi Elsnik, Shay Facey, David Buchanan, Joe Powell and Andy Williams, all on the bench on Friday, will be chomping at the bit for a start while John-Joe O'Toole, Ash Taylor and Shaun McWilliams are among those seeking a return to the squad, let alone the starting line-up.

Prediction: Bury 2 Northampton Town 2