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Aidy Boothroyd's men have built their success this season on a succession of solid home performances and our expert thinks that this trend will continue in a low-scoring affair

Four years after both suffered relegation from League One, Northampton and Cheltenham go head-to-head for a return to the third tier in tonight’s first leg of the play-off semi-finals.  

The Cobblers boast the second-strongest home record in the division and are favourites at 11/8 (2.38) with BetVictor to pick up their 12th win in 13 games in front of their own fans.

However, Mark Yates’ men are one of just of just four sides to have won a League Two fixture at the Sixfields Stadium this season and may fancy their chances of coming out on top once again, at odds of 9/4 (3.25).

Aidy Boothroyd’s team have drawn two of their last three matches and you can get odds of 12/5 (3.40) on them being held once again.

The former Coventry boss has transformed Northampton from relegation candidates into promotion hopefuls in just 18 months at the club and this success is fitting reward for plenty of hard work on the training ground.

The Cobblers’ tactical discipline has been particularly apparent at home, where they have conceded just 16 goals in 23 league games, winning five of their last nine by one goal to nil.

With so much at stake, they are unlikely to open themselves up in this game, meaning another low-scoring affair seems inevitable.

A bet on under 2.5 goals would have paid out in nine of the hosts’ last 10 matches, and each of their last seven at Sixfields, not to mention the last five consecutive games for Cheltenham, so therefore provides unbeatable value at 8/11 (1.73).

While the home side relied heavily on the goals of top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa during the first half of the season, the striker’s relatively barren 2013 has allowed Roy O’Donovan to step into the limelight.

The Irishman is responsible for three of his side’s last five goals, and seems underpriced at 5/2 (3.50) to hit the back of the net this evening.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Under 2.5 goals at 8/11 (1.73) with Bet Victor
Roy O'Donovan to score anytime at 5/2 (3.50) with Bet Victor

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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