Peterborough United travel north for the second time this week looking to halt a run of two defeats on the bounce.
Blackburn Rovers -Vs- Peterborough United
Venue: Ewood Park
Date: 2nd March, 2013
After two impressive wins, Posh came crashing down to earth with two defeats and are looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat which last happened in December. Posh are also looking to get back to their scoring habits as they could suffer a third shut-out in succession which would be the first time this season.
After the highs of beating Leicester City and then thumping Millwall 5-1, Posh have suffered what some people are calling post-Boyd blues as the Posh legend departed London Road for Hull City after that triumph at the Den. Posh boss Darren Ferguson is now trying to find the best combination of midfielders to take Posh forward.
Posh have suffered with two fairly disappointing displays which has resulted in an undeserved 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City before losing 1-0 to a fourth minute goal against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
That latest defeat was disappointing as they created very little and didn`t appear to want to press the opposition and get back on level terms, instead preferring to play keep ball.
Rovers started the year off very well losing just one out of ten matches but are now on a run of two defeats in the last three matches. They haven`t scored in the last three either so they are looking to kick on with boss Michael Appleton saying it is a must win game.
Blackburn are currently in 11th position, just seven points off the play-offs with 12 matches remaining. The defeat Posh suffered last Saturday saw them drop to the bottom of the Championship again and are four points off safety with 13 games remaining, so it`s still all to play for for both sides.
The reverse fixture in November saw Jordon Rhodes ease himself to a hat-trick in a comfortable 4-1 win at London Road.
Fabio Nunes has recovered from a hamstring injury and is in contention while summer signing Leon Best could finally make his Rovers debut after suffering cruciate ligament damage in pre-season.
Rovers are suffering from some injuries though with Martin Olsson (eye) and Lee Williamson (ankle) out of action for up to six weeks. Dickson Etuhu (knee) may be out for the rest of the season while it is also feared Colin Kazim-Richards (ankle) could be out for three months.
Loanee Jack Payne could make his first start for Posh after replacing injury victim Davide Petrucci in the first half of the defeat by Bolton on Tuesday. Payne made a good impression on Fergie as he said “Jack Payne came in on Tuesday and performed very well so he is in my plans for Blackburn definitely. He is a good footballer, he hasn’t played that particular system much in his career so we will have to work on him.”
Posh have named two long term injury victims in their squad after they have finally recovered from their injuries. Young South African defender Kgosi Ntlhe has recovered from an ankle injury he picked up in the match at Sheffield Wednesday at the start of November while striker Tyrone Barnett has recovered from the injury he picked up while on loan at Ipswich Town.
Vital Posh predicts the starting line-up will be:
Bostwick, Zakuani, Rowe
Little, Payne, McCann, Swanson
20 – Rhodes
5 – Kazim-Richards
5 – Rochina
10 – Lee Tomlin
7 – Dwight Gayle
5 – Tommy Rowe
Scott Mathieson takes charge of his 2nd Posh match of the season.
To find out details of how he has performed this season, click HERE.
He will be assisted by Geoffrey Liddle and Paul Hobday.
The fourth official is Adrian Holmes.
If Posh are to survive this season, they will need to start creating chances. Today will be another tough game against another ex-Premiership side looking to make a late bid for the play-offs.
Fergie has promised to go all out for it to get back to winning ways but if he persists with playing Mendez-Laing for the full 90 minutes, it`ll be like playing with 10 men for the majority of the time. Mendez-Laing seems to have no confidence in taking on his man and could do with a spell on the bench which many Posh fans feels he does his best work?or rather coming on for the final 20 minutes or so from the bench. What other options do we have down the right hand side though? Not a lot!!
It`ll be difficult but Posh can grind out a result at Ewood Park.
Posh to draw: 1 – 1.
UP THE POSH
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Photos/images courtesy of www.theposhpics.com.
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