Port Vale v Northampton preview

Team news for Saturday's League Two clash between Port Vale and Northampton at Vale Park.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 15:00

Ben Williamson: Nursing a knee injury

Ben Williamson: Nursing a knee injury

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Ben Williamson is expected to miss Port Vale's clash with their promotion rivals.

Williamson damaged a knee ligament during the 2-2 draw at Rochdale last weekend and the injury is likely to rule him out as Vale seek to clinch promotion for the second Saturday running.

Fellow striker Calvin Andrew and the versatile Rob Taylor will remain on the sidelines with knee and Achilles problems respectively.

However, winger Ashley Vincent, who has been sidelined for a month with an ankle injury, resumed training last week and could be in line for a return to the squad.

Vale will clinch promotion with victory. A draw will be good enough if Burton fail to win at Bradford.

Leading scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa has been passed fit for Northampton's trip to the Valiants.

Akinfenwa has missed training this week after hurting his back during the goalless draw with Wycombe on Tuesday night.

The 17-goal striker was given painkilling tablets during the match to enable him to complete the 90 minutes at Adams Park.

Fellow striker Clive Platt and captain Kelvin Langmead remain doubts though and Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd will make a late decision on their inclusion.

"Bayo got a bit of a knock on Tuesday night but he's a soldier and he will be fine," Boothroyd told reporters ahead of the trip to promotion rivals Vale.

"Clive Platt and Kelvin Langmead are making really good progress but I don't want to bring them back too soon and risk losing them for the play-offs, should we get there. At the same time though they may need to be risked if we've still got a chance of getting automatic promotion.

"There are a lot of decisions to be made but I want to leave that until Friday just to see how everybody is. At this stage of the season it is the collective that gets you through and you need everybody to be as fit as possible."

Langmead travelled to Wycombe as part of the squad, along with fellow injured players Ishmel Demontagnac (hamstring) and Alex Nicholls (broken leg).

Winger Demontagnac could return to training next week while striker Nicholls is out until the beginning of next season.

Northampton will guarantee themselves a play-off spot on Saturday if they match or better Exeter's result at home to Cheltenham. Defeat would even secure a top-seven finish if the Grecians do not beat the Robins.

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League Two Fixtures

Friday, 26 December 2014
13:00
Cambridge Utd v Southend  
Portsmth v AFC W'don  
14:00
Dag + Red v Stevenage  
15:00
Burton Alb v Tranmere  
Exeter v Cheltenhm  
Mansfield v Hartlepool  
Morecambe v Carlisle  
Newport v Plymouth  
Northamptn v Bury  
Oxford Utd v Shrewsbury  

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