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League Two Preview: Top-of-the-table Chesterfield visit bottom side Northampton

League Two Preview: Top-of-the-table Chesterfield visit bottom side Northampton

Paul Cook's side lead the pack on goal difference at the turn of the year after an inconsistent run of form, with the Cobblers looking to close the gap on their relegation rivals

League Two leaders Chesterfield face a potential banana skin in their visit to bottom club Northampton Town on New Year's Day.

Paul Cook's side sit at the summit of the table having reached the halfway stage of the season with 41 points, though they only lead Scunthorpe United and Burton Albion by virtue of goal difference.

Chesterfield are unbeaten in their last four league outings, but have stumbled slightly with back-to-back 1-1 draws at the Proact Stadium against Hartlepool United and Dagenham and Redbridge respectively.

Northampton - who are still searching for a permanent manager after parting company with Aidy Boothroyd - face an uphill battle, after failing to win in their last four matches, and collecting maximum points on just four occasions this term.

Second-placed Scunthorpe welcome fellow promotion hopefuls Rochdale to Glanford Park, and are in buoyant mood having gone seven matches unbeaten.

Their latest success came in a 2-0 triumph at Oxford United, with striker Deon Burton notching his fourth goal in as many matches for Russ Wilcox's men in that fixture.

Rochdale are in good form too, and will take heart from consecutive home victories over Mansfield Town and Bristol Rovers.

Mansfield find themselves struggling at the wrong end of the table, just three points above the relegation zone, and face a daunting prospect in the shape of Gary Rowett's Burton.

A 1-0 success over Newport County at the Pirelli Stadium on Sunday moved Burton level with leaders Chesterfield, and Rowett's charges are looking to extend a seven-match unbeaten league run.

Oxford, meanwhile, have suffered consecutive home defeats and face a difficult trip to Newport County, as Chris Wilder's men attempt to reinvigorate their assault on the title.

Relegation-threatened Torquay United will gun for a crucial three points at Plymouth Argyle, while fellow strugglers York City and Bristol Rovers have home encounters with Morecambe and Cheltenham Town respectively.

In other fixtures, Exeter City entertain Wycombe Wanderers, AFC Wimbledon travel to Dagenham and Redbridge, and Hartlepool United square off with Bury at Victoria Park.

Elsewhere, Southend United look to improve their promotion chances at home to Portsmouth, while Fleetwood aim to get back into the top seven in their showdown with Accrington Stanley at Highbury Stadium.