Lincoln City go into their home clash with Northampton Town this weekend on the back of an impressive five-game unbeaten run;  including wins against Hereford and Torquay.

Those good results have afforded the Imps an 11 point cushion over the relegation zone, and has seen them move up to 17th.

They face a Northampton side in terrific form and find themselves occupying seventh place – the final play-off spot.

In Adebayo Akinfenwa they possess a potent threat. Chris Sutton – who will be without Ian Pearce – will hope that his young defenders can nullify the Nigerian, who has hit 15 goals so far this season. 

Ian Sampson’s side will be without left-back Andy Holt, who damaged his knee during a reserve match mid-week. They will also be without midfielder Kevin Thornton and goalkeeper Chris Dunn, who have still not recovered from their respective injuries.

Sutton has been handed a timely boost with the news that Chris Herd and Matthew Saunders are both fit to face the Cobblers.

Drewe Broughton’s return to Rotherham could see Paul Connor continue to partner Davide Somma up front. Somma’s prolific form will almost guarantee that he will once again spearhead the Imps’ frontline after his loan from Leeds United was extended.

Steven Lennon could also get the nod, whilst Danny Hone is likely to deputise for Pearce, who is struggling with a back problem.

Sutton was quick to heap praise on Johannesburg-born Somma, whose brace against Torquay last week took his total to five goals in as many games in a Lincoln shirt.

He said: “Since he’s come in it’s not just been about his goals. His link-up play is good and he’s made a couple of goals himself. I like him.

“He can certainly finish, but there are areas of his game that, by his own admission, he can work on. We’ve given him an opportunity and he’s hungry to prove himself.”