After two difficult away day experiences, the Cobblers return home to Sixfields to face a Mansfield Town side who we last met less than a month ago at Field Mill.
Since that draw on Boxing Day, Mansfield have won 2-1 at Hartlepool, lost at Walsall and at home to Barrow and were held to a draw by Crewe so, like the Cobblers, will be looking to bounce back with a win here.
There’s been a bit of movement in the window for the Stage with Oli Hawkins and George Lapslie both leaving for Gillingham and Alfie Kilgour (Bristol Rovers, Callum Johnson (Ross County) and Louis Reed (Swindon) all arriving to bolster the ranks.
With Mansfield sat outside the playoffs, this is a big game for both teams as we look to get back on track in League Two.
Last Time Out
The Cobblers were beaten 2-0 at Stockport County last weekend while Mansfield drew 1-1 at home with Crewe.
One To Watch
With eight goals to his name so far this season, including the opener between the two sides at Field Mill, Will Swan, on loan from Nottingham Forest, is the main man up top for the Stags.
The Cobblers are waiting on scan results for defenders Aaron McGowan and Sam Sherring before naming his squad for the weekend. Jon Guthrie is being monitored after illness kept him out of the trip to Stockport but Tyler Magloire and Sean McWilliams are both likely to still be out.
Mansfield could bring Danny Johnson back into the side after the striker, who has hit twelve goals for Walsall on loan, returned to his parent club. But with a three club rule in place, if Johnson were to play then the only place he could return to this season would be Walsall and manager Nigel Clough may be in favour of selling him for a fee instead. Louis Reed is available for the first time since joining from Swindon and John-Joe O’Toole could make his first appearance of the season. Ollie Clarke will be missing but there’s a chance that Lucas Akins could make it back in time.
The official in charge at Sixfields will be Geoff Eltringham. Eltringham has brandished 41 yellow cards and 2 reds so far this season in 13 games, one of which being Danny Hylton’s red card at Stevenage. James Wilson and Graham Kane are running the lines and Neil Hair is fourth official.
Both sides desperately need a win from this one and, despite the last two weeks, I’m backing the Cobblers to get back on track here. It’ll be tight but I’ll go for a 2-1 Cobblers win.
A Cobblers fan all his life, Danny is the most down to earth football supporter from Northampton.
While at university in Southampton, Danny kept up to date with all things NTFC from afar, sharing his thoughts on his ‘A Load Of Cobblers’ online blog.