Match Preview: Northampton Town v Bradford City

Check out our preview of the Cobblers' home game with Bradford City.

We’re down to two. Two games to either get the one win or two draws that would take us back to League One. After all the heartache of a year ago and the subsequent playoff semi-final defeat, plus the extraordinary efforts being put in by this group of young warriors to try and get us over the line, this feels as emotional a promotion push as there’s ever been.

Standing in our way are Bradford City and the maths are simple. Win and the Cobblers will be up. A draw coupled with Stockport AND Carlisle both dropping points and the Cobblers will be up. Defeat and it goes to the final day.

COME ON, COBBLERS!

The Opposition

Bradford continue to act as the sleeping giant of League Two and that tag was never going to go away, especially when Mark Hughes became their manager just over a year ago.

After clearing out the dead wood in the summer and putting his own mark on the squad, it seemed that this was going to be the season that saw the Bantams rise again. With huge followings and a stadium fit for the top two divisions of English football their fan base are desperate to get back on the road to where they feel they should be.

But an expected charge towards the top three has stalled recently with defeat against Swindon and a late, late draw at home to Gillingham last week meaning they have to win all three of their remaining games to earn a place in the top three as well as hoping for dropped points from others.

They wouldn’t fear the playoffs, though, and with Andy Cook firing them up front they would be a match for anyone at any time. In front of a sold out Sixfields this is going to be the biggest challenge yet of this Cobblers side who are battling so hard to cross the finish line.

Last Time Out

The Cobblers came from behind to beat Harrogate Town 3-1 at Sixfields last weekend while Bradford were held to a late 2-2 draw at home by Gillingham.

One To Watch

It’s not difficult to pinpoint the main threat for Bradford with Andy Cook in stunning form again this season. Cook has hit 29 goals so far and keeping him fit is vital to City’s chances in the end of season shake up. Cook is out of contract in the summer and will attract attention once again if he doesn’t sign a longer deal at Valley Parade soon.

Team News

Jonny Maxted, Ben Fox, Aaron McGowan, Akin Odimayo, Josh Harrop, Tyler Magloire and Jon Guthrie are out for the season for the Cobblers. Jack Sowerby joined them on the sidelines last week and is likely to be out again but Josh Eppiah returned to the bench last weekend.

Bradford will be without former Cobbler Vadaine Oliver, who is going for an operation on a knee injury that’s been ongoing this season. Harry Chapman is also facing surgery on the hamstring injury that has finished his campaign. Adam Clayton is back in contention, though, after missing the last six games and Abo Eisa is also back in full training. 

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

You might recognise the name on the officials’ list this weekend with Marc Edwards back at Sixfields for the first time since the Cobblers ‘goal’ against Forest Green that wasn’t given last season. Edwards is referee for this one with Andrew Dallison and Mark Pottage running the lines and Carl Boyeson the fourth official.

Prediction

Do I have to?! I have a bad feeling that this is going to the wire and that this one will be a draw. I’m going for 1-1. 

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