After a dour Tuesday night defeat at Sixfields, The Cobblers look to bounce back at Walsall…
After all the chat of how it had been a good transfer window for the Cobblers, things came crashing back down to earth on Tuesday night as we put in perhaps the worst performance of the season to lose 1-0 at home to struggling Barrow. The concern is not only a dreadful showing in trying to break down a stubborn defence but also that it came just a couple of weeks after Crawley came to Sixfields and nabbed a similar result.
The fact that we’re back on our travels this weekend, then, is maybe a good thing as we go to a Walsall team who are in disarray and on the back of five straight defeats in League Two. Jon Brady’s side have to find something to compound the misery of the home fans if they’re to get the fans back believing in a promotion challenge.
New signings need to bed in quickly, faith needs to be restored and points need to be grabbed and taken home or we’ll be looking very nervously over our shoulders once again at the form of those below us.
Walsall sit in the lower reaches of League Two having lost each of their last five league games, compounded by a defeat to a Bristol Rovers side who were down to ten men last weekend. Former Cobbler Matty Taylor is floundering a little in his first full time managerial role and will need all his experience from a long playing career that spanned twenty years to pull his side out of the mire.
The clubs’ transfer window dealings were seen by some Walsall fans as showing limited ambition and it wasn’t enough to stop questions over the future of Taylor. His resistance to change from a 4-2-3-1 formation has been frustrating fans and should the Cobblers land an early blow at the Banks’ Stadium on Saturday the patience from the home ends will be limited.
All that being said, though, and this is traditionally the type of game where the Cobblers turn the form table on its head!
Last time out
One to watch
Pulling the strings for Walsall is midfielder Jack Earing who signed from FC Halifax Town last summer. If anyone is going to make something happen at the weekend, it’s likely to be Earing from a position deep in the middle of the park.
Walsall boss hope to have full-back Stephen Ward back from a calf issue within the next few weeks but this game comes too soon. New signing Devante Rodney, brought in from Port Vale last week, should make his debut against the Cobblers, though, as Walsall look for a fresh attacking impetus.
The Cobblers will hope to hand a debut to deadline day signing Louise Appere, who was signed too late to be involved on Tuesday night.
The teams met earlier this season in the Pizza Cup group stages. Emmanuel Osadebe gave Walsall the lead but a Dylan Connolly penalty game the Cobblers a point before Walsall won 4-2 on penalties.
Line-up Prediction – Powered by FanHub
Taking charge of this one is Seb Stockbridge. The experienced referee last officiated a Cobblers game last season as we beat Burton Albion 3-1 at the Pirelli Stadium. Mark Derrien and Lee Freeman will be running the lines and Ravel Cheosiaua is fourth official.
Charles: Walsall 2-1 Cobblers
Danny: Walsall 0-1 Cobblers
Neil: Walsall 12-0 Cobblers
Jefe: Walsall 1-2 Cobblers
We were joined this week by Tom Lines from Walsall’s ‘One Pod Beyond’ podcast this week as we looked ahead to Saturday’s game and got an in depth look into some of the hosts’ troubles:
Danny joined It’s All Cobblers To Me at the very beginning. While at university he’s written a regular blog about the Cobblers and the transition to podcasting was an obvious one to take.
A Cobblers fan all his life, Danny is the most optimistic of us on the podcast. His love of Sam Hoskins is undeniable and rumours of keeping Keith Curle locked up in his basement are unfounded.