James Heneghan's Forest Green Rovers v Northampton Town preview
Fixture: Forest Green Rovers v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two
Date/time: Saturday, September 11, 3pm kick-off
Venue: The New Lawn
Forecast: 19C, cloudy
Outs and doubts: Rovers: Ebou Adams, Udoka Godwin-Malife, Elliott Whitehouse. Cobblers: Joseph Mills.
Betting: Forest Green 19/20, draw 5/2, Northampton 14/5
Form guide: Rovers DDLLWW, Cobblers WDDLLW
Current league positions: 2nd v 5th
Possible line-ups: Rovers (3-4-3): McGee; Sweeney, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Wilson, Stevenson, Hendry, Cadden; Aitchison, Stevens, Matt. Northampton (4-4-2): Roberts; McGowan, Horsfall, Guthrie, Koiki; Hoskins, Flores, Lewis, Pinnock; Rose, Etete.
Man in the middle: Scott Oldham
Last time out: Exeter 0 Forest Green 0; Northampton 2 (Rose, Hoskins) Scunthorpe 0
Most recent meeting: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - Forest Green Rovers 1 (Harriman OG) Northampton Town 1 (Pollock)
Record v Forest Green: P5 W3 D1 L1
James Heneghan's preview: Going by stats alone, tomorrow's game in the Cotswolds will likely hinge on Forest Green's free-scoring attack against Northampton's obdurate defence.
Only Fulham can match Rovers' tally of 13 goals in the EFL so far this season, whilst at the other end of the pitch, Cobblers boast the joint-best clean sheet record across those three divisions with four in five.
But there will be more to it than that as second hosts fifth in Sky Bet League Two. For one thing, Rovers will be desperate to reclaim the red-hot form that saw them start the season with four successive victories, including a 6-3 thumping of Crawley Town.
Since that nine-goal thriller, Forest Green have lost at home to Port Vale and drawn 0-0 on the road to Exeter City. They were also beaten by Brentford in Carabao Cup and of course drew 1-1 with tomorrow's opponents only last Tuesday in the EFL Trophy.
Nonetheless, Rovers, alongside Bradford City, remain favourites for the title among many observers and therefore this weekend's encounter should provide an intriguing barometer as to exactly where the Cobblers are at.
Three wins, four clean sheets and 10 points from five matches represents a terrific start to the campaign for Jon Brady's men, but it's still far too early to make any definitive judgements.
Forest Green, and Newport County on Tuesday for that matter, are both tough assignments and will tell us a lot more as to the true nature of Cobblers' seemingly serene progress this season.
Prediction: Forest Green Rovers 2 Northampton Town 2