James Heneghan's Northampton Town v Forest Green Rovers preview

Fixture: Northampton Town v Forest Green Rovers, Sky Bet League Two

Friday, 13th December 2019, 11:37 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 11:43 am
There was a dramatic finish when Forest Green Rovers last visited the PTS as Andy Williams scored a 95th minute winner.

Date/time: Saturday, December 14, 3pm kick-off

Venue: PTS Academy Stadium

Forecast: 6C, cloudy

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Outs and doubts: Cobblers: none. Rovers: Udoka Godwin-Malife

Betting: Northampton 13/10, draw 23/10, Forest Green 21/10

Form guide: Cobblers LLWWWW, Rovers LLDDWL

Current league positions: 7th v 3rd

Possible line-ups: Northampton (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode, Turnbull, Wharton; McCormack, Lines, Watson, Adams, Hoskins; Oliver, Williams. Rovers (3-5-2): Thomas; Bernard, Rawson, Mills; Shephard, Kitching, Adams, Winchester, Dawson; Aitchison, Stevens.

Man in the middle: Antony Coggins

Last time out: Exeter 3 Northampton 2 (Goode, Hoskins); Carlisle 1 Forest Green 0

Most recent meeting: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - Forest Green 2 (Williams, Archibald) Northampton 1 (Foley)

Record v Forest Green: P3 W2 D0 L1

James Heneghan's preview: Northampton's march up the League Two standings may have been brought to an unwelcome halt at Exeter City last weekend but they have the perfect opportunity to ensure that was only a temporary blip when they entertain Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

The loss at St James Park came with its frustrations and regrets but there was nothing in Cobblers' performance to suggest they do not deserve their current place in the Sky Bet League Two play-off positions.

Regardless of Rovers' sticky form in recent weeks, they will will undoubtedly prove tricky opposition on Saturday but Cobblers' record in these kind of matches this season, especially at home, has been impressive.

Keith Curle's men dispatched Plymouth Argyle with ease and also defeated Newport County and Crewe Alexandra when both teams rocked up at the PTS occupying a top two place. Those are three sides, like Forest Green, that all hope to be celebrating promotion come the end of April.

So a sixth straight victory on home soil is well within their grasp and should they achieve such a feat, Town will move to within a point of Rovers and solidify their position among those challenging for promotion.

Defeat, on other hand, opens the door to the congested pack behind them. Just six points separates seventh from 13th and some of those teams below the Cobblers also have games in hand, two in the case of Newport.

This time last month, Rovers were flying high atop the table but it's been a struggle since. They've won only one in seven in all competitions - a 4-2 victory at Leyton Orient - and have subsequently slipped to third place.

But Cooper's side remain an impressive outfit and will likely maintain their place as a top-seven side throughout the season. They play an attractive, passing brand of football, similar to Crewe, and it will therefore be fascinating to see how that matches up to Cobblers' somewhat different approach.

The news of Alan McCormack's positive scan results was met by a sigh of relief by Town fans during the week and he should be start on Saturday. Otherwise, though, it will be interesting to see whether or not Curle feels the need to make many changes after his side's first league defeat in seven.

Prediction: Northampton Town 1 Forest Green Rovers 1