Northampton will be aiming to apply pressure to the top three with a win as they host Crewe Alexandra at Sixfields Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After an impressive run of form, the cobblers find themselves just one point behind Carlisle in third place and only nine points behind Leyton Orient who occupy the top spot in League Two.
Jon Brady’s side are unbeaten in their last five league games, winning three and drawing two. However, this recent form may be somewhat misleading as four of the Cobblers' last five opponents are currently in the bottom five of the League Two table.
On the positive side, in their past five games, Northampton have only conceded twice, a sign of their solid backline that has developed throughout the course of this season. The cobblers have the sixth-best defensive record in the league having conceded 33 times in their 36 league games this campaign.
Northampton featured in midweek League Two action as they hosted fellow promotion chasers, Mansfield Town. Jon Brady’s side got off to a quick start and opened the scoring through a Sam Hoskins penalty in the 28th minute.
Mansfield were unable to create many chances in the game and were limited to just two shots on target as the game ended 1-0 to the cobblers. This victory should give Northampton confidence that they can force themselves into the top three before the end of the campaign.
The visitors season looks like it will amass to nothing as they currently find themselves in 17th place in the League Two table. The Railwaymen are 13 points off the relegation zone and 14 points behind the playoff places, suggesting that unless there is a remarkable turn of form Crewe will have to settle for another year in League Two.
Lee Bell's side come into this game on the back of an uninspiring run of form, which has seen Crewe only record one win in their last five outings. This run has included frustrating draws against the likes of Harrogate and Rochdale however their win came against Salford as they won 4-3 in exciting fashion.
Crewe also featured in midweek action as they travelled to face high-flying Stevenage. The game was one-sided throughout and Stevenage managed to make their pressure pay as they scored a winner in the 79th minute. Worryingly for Lee Bell, Crewe failed to record a shot on target all evening.
The points were shared in a highly entertaining game when these sides met in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the campaign. Crewe looked to be heading towards a comfortable victory as they took a 2-0 lead thanks to a first-half brace from Courtney Baker-Richardson.
Sam Hoskins managed to grab one back just before the break as he netted home from close range. The points were shared in controversial fashion as Sam Hoskins levelled in the 96th minute, scoring directly from a corner.
The home side are odds on favourites ahead of this clash, currently priced @ ½, whilst a shock away win for Crewe is priced @ 11/2. We are backing Northampton to win to nil because of their impressive defensive record paired with Crewe’s lack of attacking threat that has been present in many of their recent outings.