John Askey’s Hartlepool United are set to host Northampton Town at The Suit Direct Stadium in a vital game at both ends of the table.
Hartlepool are well and truly embroiled in a relegation scrap at the bottom of the Football League once again. The Pools currently sit three points above the relegation zone but they have played two more games than Crawley Town who sit directly below them in 23rd place in the table.
The pools are currently the second favourite team to be relegated come the end of the season priced @ 4/9. Hartlepool’s survival bid is not helped by their run of games leading up to the conclusion of the season in which they will face five of the current top seven teams in the league.
In the two games since the appointment of John Askey, Hartlepool are unbeaten, having recorded well-deserved draws. A thrilling last-gasp leveller ensured that the points were shared in a 3-3 in Askey’s first game in charge against Walsall and this was followed up by a score draw at Tranmere last time out.
The Pool’s bid for survival looks reliant on the form of Dan Kemp who has made a stunning impact since his arrival on loan from MK Dons on deadline day. After netting five times in his six games since arriving, Kemp has deservedly been nominated for the League Two player of the month award.
John Askey will look to take the positives from his first two games in charge, however, this weekend opponents will prove a more challenging task than that of his first two games in charge.
Northampton currently find themselves in 4th place in the league Two table and are only one point behind Stevenage who are in the midst of a poor run of results. The Cobblers will be aiming to capitalise on Stevenage’s misfortune and are currently priced @ 11/8 to gain promotion come the end of the season.
After the heartbreak of finishing fourth on the final day of last season due to a 7-0 Bristol Rovers victory, Jon Brady will be hoping that this time it can be his side who force their way into the automatic promotion places come the end of the season.
In recent weeks, Northampton’s form has been up and down. The Cobblers have had an easy spell of games which included facing four of the current bottom six sides in the league but have only managed to record two victories in their last seven outings.
When these sides met earlier on in the season in the reverse fixture at Sixfields, Northampton registered their second victory of the season with a hard-fought 2-1 success over Hartlepool.
Josh Umerah cancelled out Tyler Magloire's opener in the first half but Louis Appere grabbed a second-half winner to give Northampton a deserved win. The Cobblers could have extended their lead and had most of the game's chances, recording 10 shots on target.
Unsurprisingly, given these side’s respective league positions, it is Northampton who are heavily favoured at the bookies ahead of this weekend's matchup @ 19/20, whilst a home victory for Hartlepool is currently priced at 11/4. We are backing Dan Kemp to score first @ 12/1 due to the instant impact that his arrival has brought, having scored five in his first six games for Hartlepool.