James Heneghan's Leyton Orient v Northampton Town preview

Fixture: Leyton Orient v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 9:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 9:46 am
Cobblers enjoyed a memorable last visit to Orient - who could forget Rod McDonald's overhead kick?!

Date/time: Tuesday, January 21, 7.45pm kick-off

Venue: Brisbane Road

Forecast: 4C, cloudy

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Outs and doubts: Orient: Jamie Turley, Jobi McAnuff, Dean Brill. Cobblers: Alan McCormack, Harry Smith, Shaun McWilliams

Betting: Orient 17/10, draw 23/10, Northampton 31/20

Form guide: Orient LDLDLW, Cobblers WWWWDL

Current league positions: 20th v 6th

James Collins scored twice in a 4-0 victory

Possible line-ups: Orient (4-2-3-1): Sargeant; Judd, Coulson, Happe, Brophy; Kyprianou, Wright; Maguire-Drew, Marsh, Wilkinson; Angol. Northampton (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode, Wharton, Turnbull; Lines, Watson, Anderson, Adams, Harriman; Hoskins, Oliver.

Man in the middle: Alan Young

Last time out: Port Vale 1 Leyton Orient 0; Northampton 4 (Anderson, Watson, Adams, Lines) Morecambe 1

Most recent meeting: Saturday, October 5, 2019 - Northampton 0 Leyton Orient 1 (Brophy)

Record v Orient: P79 W30 D21 L28

James Heneghan's preview: In some ways this rearranged Sky Bet League Two fixture is a bit of a nuisance for the Cobblers but the importance of it, in the same week they host Derby County in the FA Cup, should not be understated.

Attentions are already starting to turn towards Friday's tantalising cup tie under the PTS lights and live on the BT Sport cameras but for Keith Curle and his players, three valuable points are at stake in the capital this evening.

Northampton have started 2020 with four successive wins and another against out-of-form Leyton Orient tonight could take them into the top three for the first time this season, although that would require Crewe Alexandra to slip up at free-falling Macclesfield Town.

But Cobblers can only control the controllables and a win this evening should be well within their grasp. While they've gone marching up the table in recent weeks and months, Orient have been drifting in the other direction, winning just one of16 games across all competitions, a run that stretches way back to October 19.

Carl Fletcher, appointed soon after Orient's 1-0 win at Sixfields in October, lasted just 29 days as manager and back into the hotseat came former interim boss Ross Embleton, who now has the job full-time.

But he's struggling to turn around the club's fortunes as their first season back in the EFL threatens to turn sour. If they're not careful, they could find themselves dragged into a relegation scrap.

However, while nearly every stat going points towards a Cobblers victory tonight, it's worth remembering similar things were said when they headed to equally out-of-form Crawley Town on Boxing Day. We all know how that one went.

Curle has decisions to make when it comes to picking his team at Brisbane Road. He's hinted at changes to keep things fresh but he also wants to reel in leaders Swindon Town and to do that his side need to be winning games like this one.

For now, though, Derby County and the FA Cup must take a back seat. There are three crucial points on the line.

Prediction: Leyton Orient 1 Northampton Town 2