Northampton Town swept aside all contenders in League Two last season, chalking up 15 wins and eight draws in an astonishing second half of the season. But could they follow the example of sides like Norwich City and Southampton to secure back-to-back EFL promotions?
Despite a narrow defeat to Bristol Rovers on Saturday, there’s little doubt Cobblers fans will be pleased with what they’ve witnessed in the club’s first 11 games in League One – their first season at this level in seven years.
Currently sitting in fifth place, just four points off the automatic promotion spots, the Midlands outfit boast perhaps the most talented and reliable striker in the division in the form of Alex Revell.
The experienced hitman has netted six times in the league, as well as putting away a coolly taken equaliser in the League Cup meeting with Manchester United.
And there’s no question he will perform for the Cobblers in the big games – after all, Revell single-handedly won the 2014 League One play-off final with two goals for former club Rotherham United.
But the 33-year-old certainly hasn’t done it all alone at Sixfields. Winger Paul Anderson – who set up the opener in the 3-1 win at Swindon with spectacular footwork – and talented young midfielder Jak McCourt are just two of the players providing pace and trickery to open up opposition defences time and time again.
However, the most important factor in the side is still experience. As well as Revell, Rob Page has brought in former Premier League star Matt Taylor, who has impressed since arriving from Burnley, having won promotion from the Championship twice.
Likewise, the Cobblers’ talented centre-back partnership of Zander Diamond and Gabriel Zakuani both have over a decade of experience and have helped create a solid and well-organised defensive unit, who have already chalked up four clean sheets in League One this season.
Town have a tricky run of games coming up, but having gone toe-to-toe with Premier League giants Manchester United for over an hour, before thumping Southend United and Swindon, they could well topple League One’s current top dogs.
With creativity, experience and one of the division’s best goalscorers, the 7/1 on Northampton winning promotion looks like fantastic value, while it’s 25/1 they lift the league title for a second year in succession.
But the focus tonight turns to the EFL Trophy, as the Cobblers head to Coventry City at 11/5 to beat the struggling Sky Blues.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing