Northampton vs Walsall predictions and betting tips for this opening League Two fixture on Saturday 3rd August. It’s fair to say that Northampton underachieved last season, and they’ll be hoping to make a fast start to this campaign when they take on Walsall.
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Northampton were a very difficult side to predict last season. The Cobblers had a mixed season, finishing in 15th, ten points shy of the play-offs. In fairness, they never looked like challenging for the top seven, and probably needed a campaign to acclimatise to life back in the fourth tier. There have been a fair amount of changes over the course of the summer with a few veterans leaving the club, and a younger calibre of player arriving at Sixfields. Scott Wharton should help them keep a few more clean sheets this time around, whilst Steve Arnold is a very capable stopper. Much is expected of the returning Nicky Adams who should help them create plenty of chances this season whilst Harry Smith adds height to the frontline. The arrival of non-league hotshot Matty Warburton is a bit of a coup, but he may be eased in gently. It makes Northampton an interesting proposition this season, and as long as Curle can keep all of his squad on-side, they should be challenging for the play-offs. This is a tough start to the campaign, but they’ll be hoping to use home advantage in this opening tie.
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Walsall had been treading water for a number of years before they suffered relegation to League Two. The Saddlers have some good individual quality, but they weren’t able to keep enough clean sheets, and they found it difficult to play a system which suited frontman Andy Cook. There is the faint whiff of positivity around the Bescott ahead of this forthcoming campaign, and Darrell Clarke appears to be a savvy appointment. He lost his way at Bristol Rovers, but he managed to get the Gas out of the National League and into League One, and appears to be a very affable boss. Clarke has assembled a young squad, which is potentially lacking in experience, although the recent arrival of Gary Liddle will certainly help rectify that issue. Like their opponents, realistic Walsall fans might see this as a potential season of transition, but Clarke can get his sides playing well, and they are prone to excellent runs of form. It’s an exciting appointment, and if everything clicks into place, the Saddlers may be vying for an instant return to League One.
It’s hard to know what to make of either of these sides, as there have been multiple changes in personnel over the course of the summer. Northampton’s home form was mixed last season, and they drew a whopping 12 of 23 matches at Sixfields. The fans may have to make do with another stalemate here, and it’s 12/5 for them to pick up yet another draw.
Nine of those draws finished 1-1 or 2-2, and their inability to keep a clean sheet at home became a bit frustrating for their fans. Walsall do possess plenty of power and if Josh Gordon and Morgan Ferrier can start firing again, they should score a few goals season. Elijah Adebayo may also chip in with a few. Both Teams to Score? Yes looks like a decent option, and it’s 4/5 with Bet365.
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