Jeremy Casey's Northampton Town versus Notts County preview

Fixture: Northampton Town v Notts County, FA Cup second round

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 1:20 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th November 2019, 1:22 pm
Sam Hoskins was on target when the Cobblers drew 2-2 at Notts County in April

Date/time: Sunday, December 1, 2pm kick-off

Venue: PTS Academy Stadium

Forecast: 5C, cloudy

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Betting: Northampton 3/4, draw 3/1, Notts County 10/3

Form guide: Cobblers WWWDWW, Magpies DLLWDW

Current league positions: 6th in League Two v 9th in National League

Possible line-ups: Northampton (3-5-2): Arnold; Goode, Turnbull, Wharton; Hoskins, Adams, McCormack, Lines, Anderson; Oliver, Williams. Notts County: Slocombe, McCrory, Turner, , Rawlinson, Brindley, Rose, Doyle, Shields, Thomas, Boldewijn, Wootton

Man in the middle: Paul Marsden

Last time out: Cobblers 2 (Wharton, Oliver) Grimsby Town 0; Notts County 2 (Wootton 2) Boreham Wood 2

Most recent meeting: April 6, 2019: Notts County 2 (Rose, Hemmings) Cobblers 2 (Hoskins, Powell)

Record v Notts County: P 55 W 16 D 13 L 26

Jeremy Casey's preview: Sunday sees the Cobblers host Notts County in the second round of the FA Cup at the PTS Academy Stadium, and strangely the venue is one that will suit both clubs down to the ground.

Town have been on fire on home soil in recent weeks, winning four on the spin, while County will be glad to get away from the pressures of playing at Meadow Lane and the struggles of trying to build a promotion bid from the National League.

The murmurs of discontent are growing about Neal Ardley and his team, who in their past two home games were beaten 3-0 at home by Barrow and drew 2-2 with Boreham Wood, and the Magpies boss has admitted he is happy to be the underdog for once this weekend.

And although County will be second favourites, they still have a squad that is packed full of players with Football League experience, and you can guarantee Keith Curle and his squad will not be taking them lightly.

The sides met as recenty as April in Sky Bet League Two, drawing 2-2 at Meadow Lane, and it could again be a tight affair at the PTS.

That said, the Cobblers have to see this as a great chance of progressing to the third round, and the chance of landing a plum tie against one of the Premier League big guns - something that hasn't happened for a long time.

Town are on a great run of form, winning six and drawing one of their past seven games, and the form book suggests that run should continue this weekend.

Curle has a fully-fit squad to pick from which could lead to some selection issues, but I don't anticipate him making too many, if any, changes to the team that saw off Grimsby Town 2-0 last weekend.

Tuesday night's Trophy trip to Portsmouth looks the more likely fixture where the squad will be rotated and utilised, with the FA Cup rightly taking precedence, with a cash prize of £54,000 on offer to second round winners - as well as entering the hat with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and the rest.

One spot where Curle may make a change is between the sticks.

David Cornell is enjoying an excellent season and is well worthy of his current number one status, but it is crucial his back-up Steve Arnold gets game time.

The former Shrewsbury Town man played in the first round clash at Chippenham Town,which was only his second start of the season, and although Curle wouldn't reveal his plans to me earlier this week, I wouldn't be surprised if he is again chosen for this one.

The Cobblers' record in the FA Cup in recent seasons has been pretty abysmal and uninspiring, and it would be great if the team could go on a bit of a run this season to add even more positivity to a campaign that is shaping up very nicely.

Having already beaten one non League side in round one, and facing another one in round two, the draw gods have been kind to Curle and his team, and they really do have to make the most of it.

Prediction: Northampton Town 3 Notts County 1