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Preview: Northampton Town v Blues

Blues travel to Northampton Town on Saturday afternoon for their penultimate pre-season fixture.

The Cobblers clash will come just hours after a game against a Salford City XI at the Club’s Wast Hills Training Ground, with Lee Bowyer ensuring all his players get adequate minutes in the tank ahead of the new season.

It will also be an afternoon of added significance for the Head Coach as he travels from the morning meeting with the Ammies to take charge of the team at Northampton in front of Blues fans for the very first time.

Tickets will be available to buy on the day at Sixfields, whilst supporters unable to make the trip can watch the match live and in full on BluesTV.

Earlier this week, Blues continued their preparations for the upcoming Sky Bet Championship campaign as they played Barrow AFC behind closed doors in the West Midlands. This followed a successful trip to Cheltenham Town last weekend in their first runout.

Opponents Northampton are midway through their own pre-season calendar and will be looking to bounce back from defeat to Nottingham Forest last time out when welcoming Blues, before final friendlies on the road at Brackley Town and Cambridge United.

THE OPPOSITION:

In their 124th season, Northampton will be seeking an immediate return to the third tier after they were relegated following just one term in League One. They had been promoted via the play-offs under Keith Curle in June 2020, but he was sacked in February of this year, with the incoming Jon Brady unable to stave off the drop.

The Australian, who formerly worked in the Cobblers Academy, was handed the reins on a permanent basis following the conclusion of last season and has brought in nine new faces during the close season.

This includes five players who plied their trade in Scotland last season, such as Nicke Kabamba and Mitch Pinnock. These attackers have both found the net during pre-season and, along with Aaron McGowan, most recently represented Kilmarnock north of the border.

To date, Northampton have won one and lost three of their pre-season matches. They kicked off with a 0-6 success over Northampton Sileby Rangers before losing at the hands of West Ham United, Stamford and the aforementioned Forest.

LAST TIME OUT:

Brady’s side will be keen for a return to winning ways after a sequence of defeats. The latest of these, against Nottingham Forest, came with the Cobblers resources stretched as a number of players were self-isolating. However, despite Northampton creating a number of chances, it was the visitors who were more clinical in front of goal, with efforts from Lyle Taylor and Cafu seeing the Reds run out winners.

Bowyer’s men prepared for Saturday’s game courtesy of a midweek workout versus Barrow. Coming on the back of victory at Cheltenham, Blues produced another controlling performance as they dictated possession and limited their opponent's goalscoring opportunities. And they look set for victory when Gary Gardner headed home a Jeremie Bela cross for the second time in a matter of days, only for the hosts to be denied right at the death by the returning Remeao Hutton.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Northampton Town 2-2 Blues, 21 July 2015

Blues face Northampton for the first time in six years and, as will be the case this weekend, the last visit to the Cobblers saw a split-squad scenario due to a fixture against Shrewsbury Town running concurrently.

On that occasion, Gary Rowett’s team at Sixfields played out a score draw in a competitive pre-season clash.

The evening started superbly when Demarai Gray converted from a cross after just two minutes, but a brace from Nicky Adams turned the game on its head in Northamptonshire.

However, Blues dug deep and found an equaliser through Lee Novak 14 minutes from time before the striker nearly won it for the visitors late on when he forced a flying save from Ryan Clarke.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Blues wins: 2 

Draws: 1

Northampton Town wins: 1

BLUESTV:

Supporters can watch this game live on BluesTV, with coverage starting at 2.45pm.

Match passes for this game are available for £4.99 each.

To find out more about BluesTV, click here to read our FAQs.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Assistant Referees: Luke Scott and Rob Evans

Fourth Official: Wayne Chalmers

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