Swindon Town are hoping to make back-to-back home win at the weekend when Northampton Town come to the County Ground in a definition of a six pointer.
It has been a good last week being a Swindon Town fan with 4 points out of 6 against two good footballing sides in Crewe Alexandra and Lincoln City. Tuesday game away at Lincoln was a free hit and to the surprise of the Swindon Town fanbase the side played well against the league leaders and really could and should have got the three points. But would have bitten your hand off for a point before kick off and the point was thoroughly deserved.
This Saturday game is so crucial in the battle to avoid the drop back into League two. Swindon are hovering just above the relegation zone and its so tight at the bottom of league one with three points separating Burton Albion who is bottom with 25 points and Rochdale who are in 18th a place above Swindon Town on 28 points. If Swindon Town can get that positive result at the weekend, they can move one step closer to moving away from the relegation zone. Especially when the next few games that are coming up are against sides who are pushing for promotion/playoffs in Sunderland, Accrington Stanley and the A420 derby against Oxford United.
I will give more credit to John Sheridan for Tuesday night performance and the way he set up the team against then the league leaders Lincoln City. Went with a 4-2-3-1 and pushed Dominic Thompson into a more attacking role down the left-hand side. Scott Twine was given the free role behind Brett Pitman and Jordan Garrick who had struggled in recent weeks playing up front was switched out wide down the right-hand side. All three impressed in the setup, especially Jordan Garrick who took his goal wonderfully and gave the Lincoln left back Cohen Bramall the run around in the game. Thar was Garrick best game in a Swindon town shirt this season to date, excited to see him push on when given the chance in the right position.
It was good to see another solid display from Jonathan Grounds who took a few months to settle into a disorganised defence. Since his comeback from Injury, he has not put a foot wrong in the two games against Crewe and Lincoln. Mainly played a centre back this season, Grounds deputised well at Left back and did a good job against Anthony Scully on Tuesday night.
Predicted XI vs Northampton Town 4-2-3-1
Wollacott, Hunt, Conroy, Broadbent, Grounds, Grant, Payne, Garrick, Thompson, Twine, Pitman.
Northampton Town have been in a struggle recently are in 23rd position in the league one table with 26 points from 30 games played. Burton Albion are hot on the tails of Northampton Town and Burton are just one point behind with two fewer games played.
It has not been the best of times for Northampton Town in league one in 2021, winless in 2021 in all competitions stretching 11 games. 10 games in the league, the last league win for the cobblers was on the 29th December 2020 in a 3-1 home win over Gillingham. Since then, it has been all downhill. Keith Curle was sacked after the defeat at home to Wigan Athletic on the 10th February and was replaced by Under-18’s coach Jon Brady who has been in temporary charge. Northampton Town had lost both to Wigan Athletic and Burton Albion In a few days, both clubs were below them in the league table. 5 points from a possible 30 has not been the best of ways to start 2021, the Brightside is that Northampton Town have picked up crucial points away at Ipswich Town, Accrington Stanley and at home to Sunderland. But then blew away a lead three times away at MK Dons to lose 4-3 with Charlie Brown scoring a late winner for Russel Martin side.
Under Keith Curle, Northampton Town were predominantly a 3-5-2 side. But under Jon Brady he has looked to switch it up. Brady has not been afraid to switch that tactics around to see his side pick up their first win this year. Played a 4-3-1-2 against Ipswich and MK Dons but switched to a 4-3-3 in the 0-0 draw at Rochdale.
The key players to watch out for in the Northampton Town side:
Danny Rose is the club top goal scorer in the league with 4 goals in 23 appearances this season in league one. Rose is going through a lean patch at the moment, his last goal for Northampton was against Lincoln City on the 23rd January, that was 9 games ago. Danny Rose has been mainly used a central striker for Northampton Town this season with 2 of his 4 goals coming in 10 games played through the centre. Rose is adaptive and can play on either side of attack. He will be looking to ending his run against a side he has already scored against this season.
The second and final player to watch out for in the Northampton Town side is Sam Hoskins, the versatile attacker has been involved in 7 goals with 3 goals and 4 assists. Hoskins has played almost every position for Northampton town this season including one game at right back this season. Northampton Town benefit more when Hoskins is playing deeper in midfield and not playing in attack. All 3 of his goals this season have come from playing in midfield and talking about goals, like Danny Rose, Sam Hoskins is going through a goal drought. Hoskins last goal for Northampton Town was against Gillingham in the 3-1 win over Steve Evans side in the final league game for both clubs in 2020.
This is a massive game for Swindon Town in the fight against relegation to league two. Two games unbeaten and looking to make it three games unbeaten in a week against a fragile Northampton Town side lacking in confidence and staring a return to league two.
Preview by Scot Monroe.