Port Vale welcome back captain Tommy Fraser for the home clash against Northampton.

The midfielder missed last weekend`s 1-0 defeat at Morecambe and Tuesday`s come-from-behind triumph at Darlington through suspension, but he is now back in the fold and should return to manager Micky Adams' starting XI.

Vale's performances have been Jekyll and Hyde of late and Adams has responded to their inconsistency by tinkering with his line-up for almost every outing.

The Valiants boss made one change for the trip to Darlington - Kris Taylor coming in for Adam Yates - before Yates was then reintroduced at the break alongside Sean Rigg for John McCombe and Craig Davies respectively.

Midfielder Doug Loft also made an impressive 66th-minute cameo in midweek and is pushing for a starting berth, but Dave Howland (knee) and Geoff Horsfield (calf) are again out.

Northampton will be without the services of Kevin Thornton.

Midfielder Thornton will serve the last of a three-game ban for the Cobblers as Ian Sampson's side look to continue the good form that has seen them lose just two of the last 15 league games.

Sampson is boosted by the return of Ryan Gilligan from suspension, although the participation of fellow midfielder Luke Guttridge is uncertain after he missed the 2-1 win over Cheltenham last time out with a toe problem.

Goalkeeper Chris Dunn is a long-term absentee given he is still recovering from knee surgery, while striker Steve Guinan is still out having undergone a hernia operation.

The Cobblers have won their last two outings in League Two and sit 10th, five points away from a place in the play-offs.

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