James Heneghan's Cheltenham Town v Northampton Town preview

Jordan Turnbull gave away an early penalty when Cheltenham visited the PTS in December, but he soon made amends by scoring Cobblers' equaliser. Picture: Pete NortonJordan Turnbull gave away an early penalty when Cheltenham visited the PTS in December, but he soon made amends by scoring Cobblers' equaliser. Picture: Pete Norton
Jordan Turnbull gave away an early penalty when Cheltenham visited the PTS in December, but he soon made amends by scoring Cobblers' equaliser. Picture: Pete Norton | Getty
Fixture: Cheltenham Town v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two

Date/time: Tuesday, February 25, 7.45pm kick-off

Venue: Whaddon Road

Forecast: 3C, cloudy

Outs and doubts: Robins: Scott Flinders, George Lloyd. Cobblers: Shaun McWilliams, Andy Williams, James Olayinka

Betting: Cheltenham 1/1, draw 5/2, Northampton 14/5

Form guide: Robins WWWLWD, Cobblers WLLLLW

Current league positions: 5th v 7th

Possible line-ups: Cheltenham (3-4-1-2): Evans; Raglan, Tozer (c), Boyle; Broom, Clements, Doyle-Hayes, Hussey; Nichols; May, Varney. Northampton (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode, Jones, Turnbull; Watson, Lines, Anderson, Hoskins, Adams; Oliver, Morton

Man in the middle: Craig Hicks

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Last time out: Cheltenham 1 (Reid) Mansfield 0; Northampton 2 (Oliver, Hoskins) Exeter 0

Most recent meeting: Sunday, December 29, 2019 - Northampton 1 (Turnbull) Cheltenham 1 (Thomas)

Record v Cheltenham: P33 W11 D9 L13

James Heneghan's preview: Back into the top seven courtesy of Saturday's crucial win over Exeter City, Cobblers now have an opportunity to consolidate a spot in the play-offs by winning their game in hand at Cheltenham Town on Tuesday.

Only one other League Two fixture takes place this evening - involving two mid-table teams - but nevertheless this should not be viewed as a 'free hit' for the Cobblers. Rather, it is an opportunity.

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It's an opportunity to further wrestle back the momentum following Saturday's first win in five and it's also an opportunity to put space between themselves and those below them, maintaining faint hope of chasing down the top three at the same time.

But they must not do what others have done before them and take Cheltenham lightly. The Robins were not particularly fancied before the season but whilst many may have expected them to fall away after a fast start, they now cannot be considered as anything other than very serious promotion candidates.

Their excellent campaign, led by Michael Duff in his first full season as a manager, has largely been built on two things: strong home form and a watertight defence.

The Robins, currently fifth, beat Mansfield 1-0 on Saturday to record a fifth straight league win at Whaddon Road, the first time they've achieved that feat in seven years.

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It was also another clean sheet to add to their impressive collection. No team in League Two have conceded fewer than their 26 goals this season. In fact, only Newport County (28) come close. Cobblers have conceded 10 more.

But things are also looking a little brighter for Northampton. Not only are they back on the winning trail, they also have a very strong squad to pick from.

However, though numerous players are on their way back to fitness, Keith Curle must be tempted to stick with the same team that saw off Exeter, especially as Vadaine Oliver and Ryan Watson have recovered from their knocks.

Fit-again Scott Wharton could return but dropping any of the back three which so emphatically shut down the Grecians on Saturday would be harsh. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Prediction: Cheltenham Town 1 Northampton Town 1