Northampton vs Walsall preview
Last Updated: 02/08/19 12:15pm
Northampton manager Keith Curle will have a fully fit squad to choose from when his new-look side take on Walsall in their Sky Bet league Two opener.
Curle has signed 12 players over the summer and seen his team installed as one of the favourites for promotion as they try to get out of the fourth tier at the second attempt after their relegation in 2018.
Such is the nature of Curle's overhaul at Sixfields, he could field an entirely new starting XI and still put a midfielder on the bench, although that is an unlikely prospect. Joe Martin, Reece Hall-Johnson and Charlie Goode all missed parts of pre-season but are available for selection after a friendly run-out last week against MK Dons.
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Morgan Ferrier will not feature for Walsall after manager Darrell Clarke revealed the club have accepted a bid for the striker. Ferrier's impending departure means Clarke is on the lookout for two new forwards, while Elijah Adebayo, Josh Gordon and Mitch Candlin will battle it out for starting places against the Cobblers.
Clarke will have all 14 of his summer signings available to choose from, with youngster Luke Little the only absentee. The new season represents a new chapter for the Saddlers, with the clash against Town the first competitive match since Leigh Pomlett took over as chairman.
Northampton Town's heaviest Football League defeat came against Walsall back in April 1947, when the Saddlers beat the Cobblers 8-0 in a Division Three South clash.
Northampton Town and Walsall last met on the opening day of a Football League campaign back at the beginning of the 1989-90 season, with the Saddlers winning 1-0 before both sides went on to be relegated.
Northampton have won just one of their last 17 league games played during the month of August (D8 L8), however that victory did come in their last such game, beating Colchester 2-1 last season.
Walsall have lost 14 league games so far in 2019 - of sides still in the top four tiers of English Football, only Bolton Wanderers (16) have lost more.
Walsall will start their league campaign in the fourth tier of English Football for the first time since the 2006-07 season.