Jeremy Casey's Northampton Town versus Leyton Orient preview

Jeremy Casey looks ahead to Saturday's clash at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 2:39 pm
Rod McDonald celebrates scoring his goal in the Cobblers' 4-0 win at Leyton Orient in February, 2016 (Picture: Pete Norton)
Rod McDonald celebrates scoring his goal in the Cobblers' 4-0 win at Leyton Orient in February, 2016 (Picture: Pete Norton)

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

Date/time: Saturday, October 5, 3pm kick-off

Venue: The PTS Academy Stadium

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The Cobblers players celebrate James Collins firing them into a 3-0 lead at Leyton Orient in February, 2016

Forecast: 14C, cloudy

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Out - Steve Arnold, Ryan Watson, Sean Whaler. Doubts - Egli Kaja, Alan McCormack. Suspended - Jordan Turnbull. Orient: Out - Lee Angol, Jamie Turley. Doubts - Jobi McAnuff, James Dayton

Betting: Cobblers 21/20; Draw 5/2; Orient 29/10

Form guide: Cobblers DDWWLL; Orient DLLDLW

Current league positions: 13th v 21st

Possible line-ups: Cobblers: Cornell, Harriman, Goode, Wharton, Martin, Lines, S McWilliams, Adams, Warburton, Hoskins, A Williams. Orient: Brill, Ling, Widdowson, Coulson, Happe, Clay, Marsh, Wright, Wilkinson, Dennis, Harrold.

Man in the middle: Tony Harrington - Has been a regular on the Championship for the past three seasons. Hasn't refereed at Sixfields since April, 2016, when he was in charge to Town's 2-2 draw with Bristol Rovers - the point that secured promotion from league two.

Last time out: Morecambe 2 Cobblers 2 (Tunbull 2); Leyton Orient 3 (Wright 2, Wilkinson) Port Vale 3

Most recent meeting: February 13, 2016: Leyton Orient 0 Cobblers 4 (Collins 2, McDonald, Holmes). The Cobblers turned on the second-half style as they dismantled the Os on their way to the Sky Bet League Two title. All square at 0-0 at the break, Rod McDonald opened the scoring with a spectacular overhead kick, and Town then ran riot to clinch an impressive win thanks a stunning Ricky Holmes strike and a late double for striker James Collins.

Record v Leyton Orient: P78 W30 D21 L27

Jeremy Casey's preview: After two wasted opportunities, the Cobblers have another chance to lay down a marker that they are capable of being genuine promotion contenders this season.

Having thrown away 2-0 leads in their past two matches, conceding stoppage time equalisers on both occasions, Town will be determined to not let what looks another presentable opportunity slip through their fingers.

The form book says that Keith Curle's men should be too good for newly-promoted Leyton Orient.

Town are unbeaten in four, and haven't lost at home since going down 2-1 to Macclesfield Town on August 17.

The Os on the other hand are without a league two win in their past seven games, have picked up just three points out of the past 21 available to them.

They also have the joint-worst defensive record in Sky Bet League Two, having conceded a whopping 21 goals in their 11 games to date, so surely they are there for the taking?

Well, as we know with the Cobblers, nothing is ever that straightforward.

There have been encouraging signs in recent performances, but the Cobblers have also shown they are more than capable of shooting themselves in the foot.

It seems a strange thing to say, but if the Cobblers are 2-0 up going into the final 20 minutes, then things might get a little bit twitchy at the PTS.

Manager Curle regularly speaks of the players 'accepting challenges' set to them by him and his staff, well their challenge tomorrow is to get their act together for the whole 90 minutes.

Another of Curle's favourite soundbites is about his team playing 'front foot football', and they have got to do that throughout Saturday's contest.

If they are winning, then they cannot be seen to be sitting too deep too early. They have to take the game to the Os throughout.

If they can do that then they should have too much for their visitors, but if they don't the Os, who have scored 15 league goals this season, one more than the Cobblers, have the firepower to make things uncomfortable.

On the team news front, the Cobblers are going to have to make at least one change, with Jordan Turnbull out through suspension having picked up his fifth booking of the season at Morecambe.

If Alan McCormack isn't fit, and it seems unlikely the Irishman will be thrown straight into the starting line-up having not played since August 3, then it could be that Shaun McWilliams is asked to play the holding midfield role alongside Chris Lines.

That would open up a spot in the attacking trio behind targetman Andy Williams, with Matty Warburton the favourite for a recall.

Prediction: Northampton Town 3 Leyton Orient 1