FOOTBALL League Two

Cheltenham Town Preview: Rampaging Robins host Northampton Town in potential playoff prologue

Fifth-placed Cheltenham Town host a direct rival in the League Two playoff race on Tuesday night as Northampton Town make the trip to Gloucestershire.

The Robins have been in tremendous form of late, winning three straight while keeping up their tremendous home record as well – five straight wins at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

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This string of success has pushed them up into fifth place, six points away from the direct promotion places with a game in hand as well.

Northampton could overtake Cheltenham with a win on Tuesday, however, although last season’s fixture finished with a commanding 3-1 win for the home side.

Fortress

Town’s home form has carried over from last season, losing just two out of their last 26 games as hosts.

They also boast the strongest defensive record in League Two, conceding just 26 goals (10 at home) in 33 games while being the second-highest scoring team at home in the league too behind Crewe.

The Robins’ winning streak at home of five is their longest since the 2012-13 season, and with Alfie May and Reuben Reid’s current goal-scoring form, the goals should continue to flow Tuesday night.

Duff Stuff

Cheltenham manager Michael Duff praised his team for the current run of form they find themselves in but also remained grounded, underlining the importance of the upcoming games.

“We’re putting a decent run together,” Duff said in Monday’s press conference.

“The next three games are obviously important games because they’re the three teams below us in the league; sixth [Colchester] seventh [Northampton] and eighth [Port Vale].”

In Northampton, Cheltenham face a side who beat then-second-placed Exeter City 2-0, and Duff knows what to focus on when facing the Cobblers.

“[Northampton are] Another example of a physical team, a good team. If we aren’t prepared to stand up they’ll roll over us.

“We’ve done that quite well recently, we can play a bit of football and get into areas where we can hurt them.”

Prediction

With the current run they are on, it’s hard to look past Cheltenham for Tuesday’s game when predicting a winner.

Reid has scored the winner in the past three games while May has bagged five in the last nine games.

The previous meeting this season at the Sixfields Stadium ended with a goal each but this shouldn’t be the case after kick-off at 19:45 at the Jonny-Rocks.

The Robins simply have too many ways to hurt their opposition and should be able get a very big win, which would put them two points behind fourth-placed Plymouth Argyle.

Prediction: Cheltenham Town 2-0 Northampton Town

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