Peterborough United boss Steve Evans has branded the Easter Monday clash against the Cobblers at London Road (ko 3pm) one of the most important derby games of all-time.
Posh are chasing the win that will guarantee a return to the top six, while struggling Town are in desperate need of three points to boost their fading chances of avoiding the drop.
The Cobblers were crushed 4-0 at home by Charlton Athletic on Good Friday when Posh were rescuing a point at promotion rivals Rotherham United with a equaliser from 30-goal Jack Marriott eight minutes into time added on at the end of the game.
Posh have won all three Sky Bet League One matches against Cobblers since their neighbours won promotion from league two, and that’s a record Evans is naturally keen to extend.
But he has already warned his players about the possible pitfalls facing his side.
“This is a huge game for both clubs,” Evans stated.
“It must be one of the most important derbies because of what’s at stake.
“We are fighting for different prizes, but they will be as determined as us to get three points tomorrow.
“In my meeting with the players yesterday I stressed how hungry Northampton will be.
“They will be hurting after Friday’s result and I would expect a reaction from them.
“But if we look after our own performance and play as well as we can we should be okay, but that’s not guaranteed either.
“We will have to work very hard and we will have to play much better than we have been playing recently.
“We stuck in at Rotherham which was pleasing, but we can play much better than that.
“I expect a reaction from us as well because we cannot keep relying on Jack to get us out of trouble.
“Some times those points you nick in unlikely circumstances can be the crucial points, but to be honest draws might not be a lot of good for us or Northampton for the rest of the season.
“I need more from my better players. Marcus Maddison can do much better for a start.
“The fact we have a derby in front of a big crowd should help us. As should the fact we are guaranteed a return to the top six if we win.
“The club would probably have taken sixth spot with six matches to go at the start of the season and it’s important we get our future in our own hands.”