Match Preview: Northampton Town v Wycombe Wanderers

Northampton Town v Wycombe Wanderers

Back to back 1-0 wins have propelled the Cobblers to the dizzying heights of thirteenth place in League One and the season is well and truly up and running. The gutsy fight back against Lincoln to salvage a point, the absolute scenes of the derby win over that blue lot from down the road and then the fully deserved 1-0 win at Cheltenham last weekend have given us some breathing room and some hope that we can steer clear of any relegation battle this season.

It’s still very early days but the positives from last season and spilling into this one and we’re starting to come up with results and performances that should keep our heads above water at the very least.

Next up are a Wycombe side still getting used to a new regime after such a long spell under Gareth Ainsworth but who are, themselves, starting to show some real form in the league that makes them as tough a prospect as ever as they come to Sixfields for the first time in the league since 2016.

The Opposition

Wycombe’s entire way of being was rocked back in February when Gareth Ainsworth ended his spell as manager. Ainsworth took over the club in dire straits at the foot of League Two and took them on a journey to the Championship during his spell of over ten years at the helm but moved on to Championship side QPR mid-season.

In came another with a long association with the club in Matt Bloomfield. Bloomfield arrived from Colchester United having activated a clause in his contract that allowed him to talk to Wycombe should they come calling and he duly jumped ship up to League One. It’s been a slow process for Wanderers fans to get used to the new man but his near 500 appearances for the club as a player have helped give him as much time as he needs to settle into the role.

His first summer in charge has seen Bloomfield ring the changes with experienced defender Richard Keogh coming in while young prospect Joe Low, son of former Cobblers winger Josh, has arrived from Bristol City. Luke Leahy is one with big experience in League One and has a left foot that matches the evergreen Joe Jacobson who is starting to wind down his career at Adams Park. The impressive Freddie Potts is also in from West Ham on loan and there are rumours of at least one more addition before the window closes on Friday with Uche Ikpeazu, who played for Wanderers in the Championship, strongly linked.

Last Time Out

The Cobblers grabbed another late winner as we beat Cheltenham 1-0 away from home while Wycombe also produced a good away performance to beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 at The Memorial Stadium. They were then beaten at home by Sutton United in midweek in the EFL Cup.

One To Watch

Sam Vokes is a striker with bags of experience at the top level and, though he hasn’t got going yet this season, will be a match for most League One defences.

Vokes came through the ranks at Bournemouth before joining Wolves in 2008. A clutch of loan spells followed before he moved to Burnley in 2012 and made his name alongside Danny Ings in the Clarets attack. A less successful spell with Stoke followed before he signed for Wycombe in 2021. Vokes has scored twenty two times for the Chairboys but is still looking for his first goal of the season this time around.

Team News

The Cobblers will still be without Ben Fox, Danny Hylton and Tyler Magloire who are all long term absentees. Lee Burge is likely to be out for another few weeks. 

Wycombe look set to lose attacker Brendan Hanlan ahead of the weekend with Wrexham ready to splash the cash on him before the deadline. Jack Grimmer is expected to miss the next few weeks with a calf injury while Ryan Tafizolli and Dale Taylor could also be missing.

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

Tom Reeves is the referee in charge on Saturday. Reeves took charge of our 6-0 defeat at Ipswich in the Pizza Cup and the 3-1 home win over Barrow last season. Christopher Wade and Damith Bandara are running the lines and Dean Treleaven is fourth official.

Prediction

It would take a huge effort to make it three wins from three and much may depend on any late business before the transfer window shuts. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw.

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