Justin Edinburgh has not endeared himself to Northampton fans since he became Cobblers manager in January and he could become even more unpopular on Saturday afternoon.
Northampton versus Peterborough is one of two authentic English League One derbies this weekend – Rochdale against Bury is the other one further north – and the difference in form of the Cobblers and the Posh could not be any starker.
Three rounds into the English League One competition and Northampton has zero points and it took the Cobblers 259 minutes to score its first goal. Edinburgh made unwanted headlines when he failed to acknowledge the Northampton supporters who had made the trip to south London to see their team lose 1-4 at Charlton last weekend. Edinburgh apologised publicly for his bad manners but the former Tottenham defender is on the nose with many Cobblers fans having presided over just six wins since his appointment.
Expectations among Northampton supporters are higher than usual because a Chinese firm, 5USport, has purchased a 60 per cent share in the Cobblers. Edinburgh has a contract until the end of next season but he is under pressure and the last thing that he needs a home loss to Northampton’s biggest rival, Peterborough, at Sixfields on Saturday.
Peterborough is one of four English League One sides with a 100% record and the Posh are the division’s highest scorers with eight goals in their victories over Plymouth, Bristol Rovers and Rotherham. Peterborough has a reputation for finding hidden gems and Jack Marriott’s Posh career has started incredibly well with the ex-Luton striker netting five goals in three English League One rounds. Marriott is highly motivated because he will need to keep scoring goals to keep another Peterborough recruit, Ricky Miller, out of the Posh line-up once the former Dover star is available.
According to English League One shot statistics, there is a large gap between Northampton and Peterborough offensively. In the opening three English League One rounds, Peterborough has had 46 attempts, 20 of them on target to rank behind only Bristol Rovers on those two statistical charts, whereas just Oldham has had fewer attempts than Northampton.
And the recent head-to-head results favour Peterborough over Northampton as well. Shaquile Coulthirst, Ryan Tafazolli and Tom Nicholls fired Peterborough to a 3-0 home victory over Northampton in last term’s first English League One derby encounter and Chris Forrester scored in the 90th minute of the second divisional local argument to the delight of the Posh’s travelling army of fans. You have to go all the way back to 2006 for the last time that Northampton got the better of Peterborough so history is with the Posh.
Betfair is quoting attractive odds of +190 about Peterborough continuing its excellent English League One run with an away win that would put Edinburgh’s job in real jeopardy. The chairman of Edinburgh’s former employer, Gillingham, criticised him for his conduct via the media recently, something into which the Northampton boss tried not to buy when journalists contacted him for his response. In the circumstances, one thinks that Peterborough should be vying with Northampton for match favouritism so odds of +190 represent good value compared to one’s tissue odds of +160 .
Peterborough to beat Northampton
Saturday 26th August, 15:00 GMT