Aidy Boothroyd takes charge of Northampton for the first time on Saturday.
The former Watford, Colchester and Coventry manager was appointed as Gary Johnson’s successor on November 30 but Town have not had a game since his arrival due to their FA Cup first-round exit at the hands of non-league Luton.
Boothroyd, who will be without defenders Byron Webster (foot), Nana Ofori-Twumasi (knee) and winger Lewis Young (hamstring), insists he will not make too many changes from the side that goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers picked against Plymouth during his solitary game in temporary charge.
Boothroyd’s arrival means previously frozen-out squad members like midfielder Nathaniel Wedderburn and striker Tadhg Purcell are now back training with the main group and looking forward to a new lease of life at Sixfields.
“I won’t be making any massive changes,” said Boothroyd. “Jonno (John Johnson) will stay as captain if he’s selected and if he’s not, then I will pick another one.
“It’s a clean sheet for all the players because I haven’t seen us play yet so for me it’s about seeing us put into practice what we’ve been working on in training.”
Meanwhile, Crewe captain David Artell is set to win his fitness battle in time for the clash this weekend.
The Railwaymen centre-back has trained intermittently this week due to an ongoing Achilles complaints, but is set to be retained in boss Steve Davis’ backline.
Fellow defender Ashley Westwood is the only absentee in a fully-fit squad as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension following his dismissal in the FA Cup first-round defeat to Colchester.
Midfielder Luke Murphy returns to contention after spending time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
FA Cup second-round weekend brought an enforced break for Crewe, but they enter the trip to Sixfields in good spirits having recorded back-to-back league wins over Morecambe and Hereford.