Jeremy Casey's Oldham Athletic versus Northampton Town preview

Fixture: Oldham Athletic v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 12:55 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 12:58 pm
John-Joe O'Toole celebrates after scoring the opening goal in October's 2-1 win over Oldham Athletic at the PTS Academy Stadium

Date/time: Saturday, May 4, 3pm kick-off

Venue: Boundary Park, Oldham

Forecast: 10C, sunshine and showers

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Keith Curle enjoys the win over Oldham in October

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: none. Oldham: Peter Clarke, Zak Dearnley, George Edmundson,

Betting: Oldham 6/5, draw 13/5, Cobblers 12/5

Form guide: Cobblers DLWDDL, Latics LLWDDW

Possible line-ups: Cobblers (3-5-2): Cornell; Goode, Pierre, Turnbull; Hoskins, Cox, Foley, Pollock, J Powell; A Williams, D Powell. Oldham: de la Paz, Sylla, Iacovitti, Hunt, Haymer, Missilou, Nepomuceno, Maouche, Afolayan, Lang, Branger

Man in the middle: Thomas Bramall

Last time out: Newport 2 Oldham 0; Cobblers 2 (OG, D Powell) Yeovil Town 2

Most recent meeting: October 27, 2018, Sky Bet League Two: Cobblers 2 (O'Toole, van Veen) Oldham 1 (Hunt)Record v Oldham: P37 W12 D9 L16

Opposition view: Oldham head coach Pete Wild: “Keith Curle sides are always good footballing sides and he always gets them playing. They're a good footballing side and you can expect them to be expressive in their play with the ball and we're going to have to try and stop them playing through us.”

Jeremy Casey's preview: If ever there was a fixture that can be termed as 'a mid-table battle', then this is it.

For the second year in a row, the Cobblers end their campaign with a fixture against Oldham Athletic.

Last year, Town were already relegated, but Oldham travelled to Sixfields needing a win to stay in Sky Bet League One. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, and the Latics joined the Cobblers in dropping down to league two.

There is nothing so important riding on this weekend's final game of a long season. Indeed, there's nothing riding on it whatsoever - the good news though is that it's only £5 admission!

The Cobblers travel to Boundary Park sitting in 15th in Sky Bet League Two, while Oldham are two places higher in 13th.

The Latics were still dreaming of clinching a place in the play-offs this time last week, but two defeats in the space of three days on the road, at the hands of Exeter City and Newport County, put paid to that.

Both teams can rise one place in the table if they win and other results go their way, but that's not much of a motivation for anybody concerned.

It's a case of both teams playing for 'professional pride', while for players on both sides it could well be their final appearances for their respective clubs.

Keith Curle has made it clear there are going to be dramatic changes in the playing personnel at the PTS Academy Stadium, and he will be telling the players their fate on Monday.

But until then, he will be demanding the team selected treat this game as they would any other.

So what sort of Cobblers team will take to the field this weekend? The honest answer is, I haven't a clue.

Anybody who follows the team will be well aware that second guessing Curle on selection on any given weekend is a thankless task, and this Saturday is no different.

Will he stick with the players he has utilised over the past few weeks? Players who are out on contract this summer, such as Daniel Powell, Sam Foley and Dean Bowditch, or others who are on loan, such as Charlie Goode, George Cox and Joe Powell?

Or will he look to the future and give a few of the club's promising youngsters a chance to show what they can do on the senior stage.

There is little at stake for the club, so why not give the likes of Scott Pollock, Jay Williams, Jack Newell and Ryan Hughes a bit of a run-out? .

I would like to see Curle to field a youthful team, and a team of players who are definitely going to be at the club in 2019/20, but you're guess is as good as mine as to whether or not he does that.

To be frank, this is a game that nobody really want, and it's a fixture that everybody connected with the club just wants to get out of the way.

Then the real work on refreshing and rebuilding the squad for next season can begin in earnest.

Prediction: Oldham Athletic 2 Cobblers 2