Northampton Town Preview Coventry – Cobblers head to Coventry in the Carabao Cup 1st Round
The first round of the EFL Cup is always a nice game to play at the start of the season. Fans are still in that optimistic bubble that pre-season creates. And no matter the result from the weekend’s first league game, fans are up for the cup.
Last season the Cobblers skipped through round 1, disposing Cardiff City 3-0 and making us all believe that we’d have a comfortable season in League One ahead of us. Oh how wrong we were.
Why do I mention last season? It’s purely to show that anything can happen in the EFL Cup 1st round and that it has little to no bearing on what lies ahead in the bread and butter of the league.
I watched Coventry’s 2-1 win over Forest on Sunday and thought Forest were good for their 1-0 lead for the majority of the match. But Coventry weren’t up for losing their first game back at the Ricoh, or whatever it’s called these days. In the end, Forest succumbed to an equaliser and then, in injury time, Coventry took all 3 points and sent their fans into raptures. It made for great viewing and I felt really pleased for all the Cov fans who have endured a fair bit of nonsense over the last decade or more.
I’d expect both teams to make changes for this one. The Cobblers have got several players who need game time after missing the bulk of pre-season due to Covid protocols and Coventry will likely want to give some of their youngsters and squad players a run out.
It will be no surprise to me to see Jonny Maxted in goal, the cups are always given to the other keeper. Sam Hoskins, Sid Nelson, Michael Harriman, Scott Pollock and possibly Kion Etete will all either start or be given decent minutes. Jon Brady has spent the summer building a squad that has two players for each position so it’s likely that he’ll use the cup competitions to keep everybody happy.
As for Coventry, Jodi Jones looks set to play after coming off the bench in the Sky Blues’ 2-1 win over Forest. But captain Liam Kelly and striker Matty Godden are both still doubts.
Benjamin Speedie is the man in the middle. Speedie is in his 2nd season as an EFL referee and tonight will be the first time he has been in charge of a match involving Coventry City. His one and game in charge of the Cobblers was last season’s 2-1 away defeat to Swindon.
Speedie was the referee for Fleetwood’s 1-0 home defeat to Portsmouth on Saturday, handing out 3 yellow cards and no reds.
Speedie will be assisted by Darren Wilding and Ian Smedley whilst Richard Morris will act as the fourth official.
Last Time Out
Northampton Town 3-0 Coventry City
The last time we faced Coventry was on 28th January 2017 and a Keshie Anderson hat-trick secured all 3 points in a League One encounter.
The earlier fixture that season ended 1-1 with Harry Beautyman putting the Cobblers 1-0 up on 30 minutes. Marcus Tudgay scored Cov’s equaliser in the 63rd minute of the game.
Games like this are so hard to predict but you’d expect Coventry’s Championship credentials to make them firm favourites. Upsets happen in this competition because of the changes that football managers make to their teams. So as well as making predictions hard for fans, it tends to level the playing field on the pitch too.
Simply because I’m feeling optimistic, I’m going for a 2-0 Cobblers win.
Brady has got a really good atmosphere going at the club this summer and I just can’t bring myself to go against them.
Charles: 2-0 Cobblers
Neil: 2-1 Coventry
Danny: 1-1 (Cobblers win on penalties)
Jefé: 2-1 Cobblers
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