Northampton Town will play hosts to Walsall this weekend in League Two after a topsy-turvy run of form for the Cobblers in 2023 so far that now sees them down in fourth as Walsall have fallen way out of sorts in recent weeks.
There was a time when Walsall were competing for a place in the playoffs at one stage. Now, however, the club head into this game with just one win in January in League Two after defeating Mansfield Town 2-1. Another 2-1 loss would come soon after, as they beat Stockport County 2-1 away from home in the FA Cup. Walsall have since gone on to draw with Tranmere Rovers, lose to Leicester City in the FA Cup and also lose to Salford City back in the league on Tuesday.
It does also mean Michael Flynn's men have played more games than most in all competitions this January so far, and Flynn's side are now down in 14th and with a gap of two points to make up on Sutton United. However, despite playing a lot, most of these games have been in cup outings so Walsall still have two games in hand on a lot of clubs which could rocket them into the playoffs if they can claim all six points.
Northampton defeated Barrow on the road last weekend during the FA Cup weekend, as Ben Fox and Shaun Mcwilliams scored a goal each in a League Two win.
It was just the second win in the league for the Cobblers since Christmas after drawing with Mansfield and losing 2-1 to Swindon Town. Their only other win so far in League Two was in their stunning 1-0 home victory against Leyton Orient. Northampton would then go on to lose 2-1 to Salford City and then 2-0 to Stockport to launch them down into fourth in the table for the first time in a long time.
Carlisle have now rocketed above them in the League Two standings, but Northampton do have a game in hand still to make up that two-point gap. Jon Brady's men have now won 14 games from 27 outings in League Two but they do sit behind the league leaders Leyton Orient by eight points with their six losses and seven draws so far.
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