Northampton take a trip to Bolton on Saturday, where they will look to upset the favourites. The last time the two clubs faced was in 2017 and the Trotters were victorious on both occasions.
Ian Evatt’s side sit in sixth place in League One, despite only playing eleven games, which is two less than some teams. Bolton have picked up 20 points thus far, which is mainly due to them scoring an average of 1.73 goals per game, the fourth best record in the league. However, they have been uncharacteristically poor at the back this season, conceding 1.71 goals per game at home.
Last time out, Bolton suffered a shock 3-1 home defeat to 20th place, Carlisle. Bolton actually dominated the tie but they were vulnerable on the counter attack, which is where the opposition found joy. The Trotters took the lead just before the half hour mark but they conceded two penalties in the first half, one was saved, the other was converted. Carlisle then stunned the hosts twice in the second half from a corner and a fast break.
The Cobblers have had a rather interesting start to the season, as they seem to have spells of wins dotted amongst consecutive defeats. This inconsistency has put them in 19th place with 13 points after eleven games, however they’ve only drawn once. Furthermore, Northampton have conceded and scored an average of one goal per match, which means their games have typically been low scoring.
Their most recent game was a 1-0 loss to Shrewsbury, who are the league’s second lowest scorers. Northampton registered the most possession, chances, and corners but they were unable to breakdown the resilient defence. Jon Brady’s side had the opportunity to take the lead in the second half but Sam Hoskins was unable to convert from the spot. Shrewsbury then stole all three points in the final minutes.
Bolton should have enough quality to beat Northampton, but the visitors will attempt to frustrate the hosts, relying on counter attacks and set pieces to cause issues. The Trotters will have to remain focused and they cannot afford to be complacent.
The final prediction is Bolton 2-1 Northampton.