Northampton Town v Tranmere Rovers. Match Preview.
English Football League Two.
Saturday 5th March 2022, 3pm K.O
On Saturday afternoon, Tranmere Rovers travel to Northampton Town looking for their first win in five league games.
The Whites have been on a tricky run of form of late. Manager Micky Mellon has assured supporters that blips are to be expected in a long and challenging league campaign although there still remains an element of nerves from the SWA who have seen promotion taken from them late into the season one too many times.
It seemed like Tranmere were destined for promotion last May, eventually losing out in the Play Off Semis to Derek Adams’ Morecambe, as they had built a squad of great depth and talent. A combination of reasons aided to that failure, many feeling more confident with Mellon now in charge instead of Mancunian and current Scunthorpe United gaffer Keith Hill.
A victory against The Cobblers would make the visitors’ quest for success that little bit stronger as they need to get back to winning ways, time is now ticking on and the games remaining will soon dwindle down into single digits leaving little time left for great change.
Yet Rovers do remain in the top four and three points on the road would take them to second, overtaking the hosts. A Northampton win would see them stay in second as they aim to chase down the league runaway leaders Forest Green after failing to win their last three league outings. Confidence is important as well in these late stages, a win doing wonders in that respect as always as point totals remain very tight at the top.
Saturday will see the 44th meeting between the two clubs since Boxing Day 1967. Rovers have won 15, drew 12 and lost 16 of these which again proves the little difference there is between the clubs. Tranmere won that festive fixture 1-0 away from home in League Division Three. 55 years on they look for their first win against The Cobblers since 28th December 2014, there may be something about those festive occasions.
The last meeting resulted in a 2-0 defeat for Mellon’s side at Prenton Park, Kion Etete and Sam Hoskins scoring on an afternoon of great disappointment for The Whites – both goals coming in the second half. Etete was one of Northampton’s key players thus Tranmere will be thankful that he was recalled by Spurs before being sent on loan to Cheltenham Town. The 20 year old attacker has scored two goals in seven games for The Robins.
Tranmere’s manager spoke to the press ahead of the weekend’s fixture on Thursday afternoon and informed fans of his current squad’s health, stating that forward Paul Glatzel has had a ‘good week of training’ as well as Jay Spearing who has also come back from injury. ‘The squad is looking in a much better way ahead of an important run of games’ said the Scot.
Brady will be hoping that Hoskins is fit and firing, he is the team’s top scorer with eight goals in 36 appearances as well as providing four assists. Central midfielder Paul Lewis may also be influential if he is fit as his eye for goal may have a great say in how the game pans out, Tranmere fans will know what he is capable of after a good year on The Wirral.
To find out more about the hosts, you can read my meeting the opposition feature where ‘It’s All Cobblers To Me’ spoke about how their season has gone so far before giving their thoughts on Tranmere and explaining how they believe the ninety minutes will go.
My expected Tranmere starting eleven and scoreline.
- Ross Doohan, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Tom Davies, Peter Clarke, Callum MacDonald, Kieron Morris, Lee O’Connor, Lewis Warrington, Josh Hawkes, Kane Hemmings, Paul Glatzel.
- Northampton 2 Tranmere 2.