A return to league action this weekend...
The Saddlers are back in League One action this weekend after a two-week break due to internationals. Jon Whitney’s side are without a league win since the opening day, but will be hoping to build on the 5-2 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Grimsby in their last outing. Opponents Northampton, who won 3-2 against MK Dons last time out, are unbeaten in their last 30 league games – a run stretching back to December 2015. The Cobblers, now managed by ex-Port Vale boss Rob Page, romped to the League Two title last term, amassing 99 points and losing only five games.
11th – P6 W1 D5 L0 F6 A5 PTS8
19th - P5 W1 D2 L2 F7 A8 PTS5
4th September – Northampton 3-2 MK Dons – League One
Northampton recorded their first victory of the League One season after beating local rivals MK Dons. The Cobblers raced into a three-goal lead in 28 minutes, through a Harry Beautyman strike, an Alex Revell header and a fine Matt Taylor free-kick. Dean Bowditch and Samir Carruthers responded for the visitors, but Northampton held on.
30th August – Walsall 5-2 Grimsby – Checkatrade Trophy
Amadou Bakayoko scored a first-half hat-trick as five-star Walsall thumped League Two Grimsby. Andrew Boyce gave the Mariners an early lead, but a 27-minute Bakayoko treble put Jon Whitney’s side in control at the break. Kieron Morris netted his third goal in as many matches to make it 4-1, before Luke Summerfield pulled one back. But the Saddlers had the final say, with youngster Maz Kouhyar’s first career goal - on his full debut – rounding off a comprehensive win.
Walsall wins: 31
21st February 2009 - Northampton 0-2 Walsall - League One
Two goals in the final seven minutes from Stephen Hughes and substitute Jabo Ibehre handed mid-table Walsall victory and condemned relegation-troubled Northampton to a fourth straight defeat. The Saddlers would go on to finish 13th on 61 points, while the Cobblers came 21st and were relegated to League Two.
Northampton Manager: Rob Page
The former Wales international left Port Vale to become Northampton manager in May, replacing Chris Wilder. The 42-year-old took charge of almost 100 matches during his two years with the Valiants and guided them to 12th last season. He spent the majority of his playing career with Watford, for whom he made over 200 appearances.
Northampton Star Man: Alex Revell
An experienced forward who joined the Cobblers from MK Dons in June on a two-year deal. The 33-year-old has netted three goals for Northampton already this term, including one against the Dons on Sunday. Revell has also played for Cambridge, Brighton and Rotherham, where he won back-to-back promotions from League Two to the Championship.
James O'Connor is out with a hamstring injury. Everyone else is in contention.
The Surrey-based official has taken charge of eight matches already this season, brandishing 26 yellow cards and one red. The last Saddlers game he refereed was the 3-1 home defeat to Barnsley in March 2016.
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