Northampton Town host Accrington Stanley in League One at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday afternoon with the sides going into the game separated by just a point.
Northampton have no new fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, manager Keith Curle has confirmed. Scott Pollock and Joseph Mills are still out following operations.
Their only other concern is midfielder Chris Lines who missed their FA Cup tie with Oxford City on Monday night due to personal reasons and may well not be available on Saturday afternoon.
Accrington manager John Coleman has had a difficult few weeks after 17 players and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19 following their win over Fleetwood Town in October.
Most of his squad are now fit to face Northampton and Coleman told the Lancashire Telegraph:
"We've got four or five who are struggling to train this week and that's not ideal with the amount that we've lost already. It's a case of patching everybody up and getting a team out there for Saturday."
Keith Curle should go with his usual 3-5-2 system while Stanley boss John Coleman is expected to put his team out in a 4-4-2 formation.
Northampton Town: Mitchell, Horsfall, Sheehan, Bolger, Holmes, Missilou, Sowerby, Hoskins, Adams, Rose, Smith.
Accrington Stanley: Baxter, Sykes, Huges, Burgess, Nottingham, Russell, Butcher, Pritchard, Cassidy, Charles, Bishop.
Ones to watch
Northampton Town winger Ricky Holmes will definitely be one to watch in Keith Curles side on Saturday. Holmes resigned for the Cobblers at the end of October, four years after his League Two title success at Northampton with current Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.
He nearly got an assist within seconds of making his debut as a substitute in the Cobblers 0-0 draw with the MK Dons at the start of November and will no doubt prove vital to Northampton's survival in the third tier this season.
In addition to Holmes, forward Harry Smith will be a danger man for the Cobblers and will definitely benefit from the service of Holmes in the wide positions.
Smith is yet to score for the Cobblers in this campaign but was key to Northampton's promotion last season when he netted seven times for the Cobblers last season.
As for Accrington, top scorer Dion Charles will be a threat for Stanley on Saturday afternoon. The striker has scored two goals in four appearances so far this season as well as picking up an assist.
The 25-year-old joined Stanley from National League North side Southport and impressed the Accrington scouts as they signed him in summer 2019. Last season Charles scored eight goals in 31 league appearances and will hope to replicate similar form in this campaign.
Another one to watch from the Stanley ranks will be midfielder Joe Pritchard. The Englishman has made a good start to the season, scoring twice and getting an assist in seven appearances so far.
Pritchard impressed at the start of October in a man of the match performance for Stanley win over Rochdale getting a goal and assist on the way to his side getting all three points on that particular afternoon.
The two sides have only ever faced each other 14 times previously, the first dating back to August 2009 when Northampton won by three goals to nil in a League Two encounter.
Since then Northampton have beaten Saturday's opponents eight times with three draw and three Accrington wins.
The sides last met in December 2015 where Northampton won by a goal to nil.
Where to watch
Northampton Town season ticket holders can watch the game live for free via 'iFollow', details on how to access the match are here.
Cobblers boss Keith Curle is looking forward getting back to League action after their FA Cup disappointment on Monday night and told Northampton's website that it'll be a toe-to-toe encounter:
"I think it will be a toe-to-toe encounter, it won't be two teams dancing around each other,” he said.
“Accrington have got good strengths, they get good numbers in the box and they put balls in good areas.
“We haven’t prioritised the league now we are out of the cup, our priority from day one this season has been to try and establish ourselves in League 1. That hasn't changed at all and nor has our belief."
John Coleman is expecting a tough game against the Cobblers on Saturday and told the Lancashire Telegraph:
"It's the equivalent of someone looking where their next meal is coming from, and that's all we're looking at really. Our next concerted effort is Northampton and we certainly can't look any further than that," said the Reds chief, who is not reading too much into their opponents' poor home form.
"I've watched them play and I know they can be a handful. They've got good players who can hurt any team in our league so we've just got to try to get ourselves as fit as we can, as strong as we can and give it our best shot."