Fixture: Bury v Northampton Town
Date/kick-off time: Saturday, March 21, 3pm kick-off
Venue: Gigg Lane, Bury
Weather forecast: 8C, rain
Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Ian Morris (knee), Kaid Mohamed (broken metatarsal), Ben Tozer (knee), Marc Richards (Achilles). Bury: Nathan Cameron (suspended), Daniel Nardiello (hamstring)
Betting: Bury 10/11, draw 13/5, Cobblers 10/3
Form guide: Bury WWLWWW, Cobblers LWLWWWD
Possible line-ups: Northampton (4-2-3-1): Duke; Moloney, Cresswell, Collins, Horwood; Byrom, Taylor; Holmes, De Girolamo, D’Ath; Gray. Bury (4-1-4-1): Pope; Riley, El Abd, McNulty, Hussey; Etuhu; Adams, Soares, Tutte, Mayor; Eaves
Last time out: Cobblers lost 2-0 to Carlisle, Bury beat York City 1-0
Most recent meeting: Saturday, December 26, 2014 - Northampton 2 (Richards, Hackett) Bury 3
If ever there was an example of a team hitting form at exactly the right time it is illustrated perfectly by BuryJefferson Lake
Cobblers connection: Tom Youngs failed to score during 21 injury-hit months at the Cobblers, who paid Cambridge £50,000 for his services on transfer deadline day 2003. Joined Leyton Orient for six months after leaving Northampton and then had just over a year at Bury before retiring from full-time football in October 2007.
Jefferson Lake’s preview: The Cobblers’ attacking line will have a dash of Italian flair in it when the team travel to play a Bury side who are bang in form and seem destined to be part of the league two promotion picture.
Sheffield United tyro Diego De Girolamo will come into contention for Town, who remain the leading goalscorers in the division but have notched just once in their past three games, and that a header from a central defender from a free-kick.
Northampton need to rediscover their attacking spark but they may have to do so without Ricky Holmes, on whose injury the news was good but with whom the club will continue to tread carefully.
Having won at Shrewsbury earlier this month there is a feeling that no task is beyond the Cobblers but an away game against Bury represents a hugely difficult encounter and it is one made even harder by the recent stuttering form of Chris Wilder’s side.
They are packed with quality and their manager David Flitcroft has got them well drilled and playing good football without being overly expansive and taking risks.
Kelvin Etuhu - Bury’s deep-lying central midfielder and enforcer - is playing at least one level below his capabilities and the same can be said of three or four of their other regular first-team players.
The Gigg Lane side have won six of their past seven games and during that run have conceded two goals; for reference, the game before it began was a 0-0 draw at fellow play-off contenders Stevenage.
If ever there was an example of a team hitting form at exactly the right time it is illustrated perfectly by Bury, who should certainly now finish in the top seven and will strongly fancy their chances of a late run to the top three.
For Northampton, standards need to improve on Tuesday night if they are to get anything from the weekend game but this does feel like a hiding to nothing.
Prediction: Bury 1 Cobblers 0