Date:Friday March 14 2008
15th March 2008
After failure to win 2 games, Roberto Martinez and his side will be looking to avoid making that three when they travel to Northampton Town on Saturday.
A defeat and a draw at home means our lead at the top has been cut by 5 points to just 7 ahead of second-placed Doncaster Rovers.
After a comfortable 3-0 win against the Cobblers at the Liberty in December, a repeat performance and result is exactly what we need to regain the momentum.
Northampton boss, Stuart Gray:
|'We know it will be a difficult game on Saturday but Roberto Martinez might be thinking that their defeat against Millwall was the wake up call they needed.'|
'They are going through a bit of a blip at the moment but they have still been by far and away the best side in this division this season.'
'Swansea played us off the park at their place earlier in the season but although we will obviously respect them on Saturday we won't fear them. I'm sure that they will like playing on this surface at Sixfields but we are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment and I'm sure we will give them a good game.'
|'Northampton have a very positive group of players and I don't think they are a team that will be happy with a point. We are the same, so it should be a good game.|
'I've watched them play and they are strong, hard-working and very effective up-front. They put teams under pressure.
'But we have 11 games left and I want to win every one.''
Northampton will be hoping to have former striker Adebayo Akinfenwa available. Since leaving Millwall he has scored 6 goals in 4 league starts. Bayo has been struggling with a knee injury recently as well as a virus so he'll be hoping to recover.
Mark Hughes is definitely out and will miss the next 2 games after picking up an injury.
Jason Crowe's fitness will be assessed at the last minute while Chris Doig and Brett Johnson are long-term casualties.
Ryan Gilligan is also struggling with an ankle injury.
If fit, he'll cause a lot of problems for our defence with his strength. He can hold the ball up well and he's scoring for fun at the moment.
Roberto Martinez welcomes back Marcos Painter after recovering from a hamstring injury. He's likely to replace Kevin Austin while Lawrence partners Tate in the centre.
I'd imagine we'll go 4-4-2 with Bauza and Scotland up front. Butler and Britton compete for the right wing place in that case with Bodde and Pratley in the centre.
We're not scoring many goals recently and I think he has an important play to play in these next 3 away games. Hopefully he can continue his form before his injury and help us get back to winning ways.
Northampton are unbeaten at home in their last 6 games - 3 wins, 3 draws.
Their last home win was in mid February, Akinfenwa scored 2 as they romped to a 4-0 win against Bristol Rovers.
Providing the Swans show a big improvement and put in a good defensive performance, I think we can get a win by a close margin. 2-1 Swans.
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Date:Friday March 14 2008
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|11. Aston Villa||28||8||7||13||-7||31|
|13. Hull City||28||8||6||14||-5||30|
|16. Crystal Palace||28||8||3||17||-19||27|
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