James Heneghan's Peterborough United v Northampton Town preview
Fixture: Peterborough United v Northampton Town, Checkatrade Trophy
Date/time: Tuesday, October 3, 7.45pm kick-off
Venue: ABAX Stadium
Forecast: 12C, cloudy
Outs and doubts: Posh: Junior Morias (thigh), Gwion Edwards (groin), Callum Chettle (hamstring). Cobblers: Sam Hoskins (ankle), Chris Long (hamstring), Shaun McWilliams (foot), John-Joe O’Toole (groin), Aaron Phillips (thigh), Matt Crooks (knee), Regan Poole (international duty)
Betting: Peterborough 4/6, draw 3/1, Northampton 19/5
Form guide: Posh LLWDWL, Cobblers LDLLDW
Possible Northampton line-up (4-3-3): Cornell; Moloney, Barnett, Pierre, Buchanan; Kasim, Foley, McGugan; Waters, Smith, Richards
Man in the middle: Gavin Ward
Last time out: Peterborough 1 (Marriott) Oxford 4; Rotherham 1 Northampton 0
Most recent meeting: Saturday, August 26, 2017 – Northampton 1 (Revell) Peterborough 4 (Edwards, Morias, Marriott, Maddison)
Record v Peterborough: P67 W20 D17 L30
Opposition view: “Jimmy has steadied the ship,” Grant McCann told Peterboroughtoday.co.uk. “They are a very resolute side who have become hard to break down. Northampton won the first two games under Jimmy. They’ve struggled for results since, but they are organised and committed. I’m expecting a tough game.”
James Heneghan’s preview: To describe this game as a shot at redemption following August’s horror show would perhaps be a stretch too far given the context but, if nothing else, tonight’s clash does at least present the Cobblers with a swift opportunity to right some of those disastrous wrongs.
Humbled and hammered on their own patch in what turned out to be Justin Edinburgh’s final league match in charge, the latest chapter in this rivalry was another grim one for Northampton.
Admittedly, even the prospect of a tasty local derby hardly gets the juices pumping such is the apathy felt towards this much-maligned competition but, even so, the mere possibility of scoring goals and winning a game of football is one Town should seize upon given their current predicament.
The penalty shoot-out ‘victory’ over Cambridge United in their first group stage match has put them in a decent position to qualify and victory at London Road tonight would all but see them through to the knock-out stage.
Peterborough too are off to a good start in the competition after making light work of Southampton’s youngsters in their opening game to top the South Group H table.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has confirmed he intends to shuffle his pack this evening and that could present rare opportunities to the likes of Billy Waters, Sam Foley, Yaser Kasim, Leon Barnett and David Cornell.
Waters has yet to start since Hasselbaink’s arrival while Foley has yet to play at all for the Cobblers after spending two months recovering from an ankle injury suffered in pre-season.
The one frustration for Hasselbaink is the length of Northampton’s injury list. With up to seven players potentially absent tonight, he’s not able to rotate as much as he may have wanted.
New signing Lewis McGugan could be thrown straight in after joining on Monday and his creativity and attacking enterprise may well prove invaluable for a team desperately short on those qualities.
A victory in the Checkatrade Trophy is unlikely to transform spirits around Sixfields, even it does came at the expense of Peterborough, but after no win in five, this is not a time to be picky.
Prediction: Peterborough United 1 Northampton Town 1