Date: 5th January 2009 at 5:40pm
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After the thrill of the FA Cup draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Posh return to League One duties with a tricky fixture against second in the table MK Dons, on Tuesday evening.

It is a fixture Posh dare not lose if they are to continue to harbour any intentions of filling one of those two automatic promotion places come May.

However, MK Dons are on a great run and their boss, Roberto Di Matteo, will eye a win at London Road as a natural progression for a season that seen the Buckinghamshire side surprise a few of their critics, especially after the pre-season loss of the manager who guided them to promotion, Paul Ince.

Vital Quotes:

Ahead of the clash, Darren Ferguson has spoken about the importance of getting something from this fixture and also on being surprised at how well MK Dons have done so far this season, remarking,

“It’s a game we need to win to close the gap and we certainly can’t afford to lose as nine points would be an awful lot to make up on such a good side.’

‘I didn’t expect them to be this good this season after losing a manager and a couple of quality players, but Roberto Di Matteo has obviously done a fantastic job there.’

Posh Team News:

Following the trip to the Hawthorns, Darren Ferguson will be hgoping that the knee injury of Tom Williams will have recovered sufficiently for him to occupy the left back berth.

Elsewhere, he`ll be hoping that nobody else picked up an niggling injuries and that he`ll have a full squad to choose from, although it will now be minus the name of Chris Westwood who has joined Cheltenham Town on a months loan.

Player to watch: Craig Mackail-Smith

Who else? Already Craig has almost matched his goal scoring feats of last seson. A goal against MK Dons will see him equal the total he achieved last season and with just half a season togo, we`re starting to wonder if Craig can reach that magical figure of thirty.

MK Dons Team News:

Roberto Di Matteo will welcome back to his squad Miguel Llera who returns from suspension but Alan Navarro will miss out after picking up his fifth booking of the season.

Luke Chadwick, Florain Sturm, Danny Swailes and Flavien Belson are unlikely to be considered due to ongoing injury problems.

Player to watch: Sam Baldock

Touted as the first player to come all the way through the Buckinghamshire sides youth set up and the first native of Milton Keynes to sign for the club, Baldock set off at a fair old pace in the scoring stakes. He may only be a teenager but he has that invaluable knack of being in the right place at the right time. So far he has nine league goals and a cup goal to his name for the season. Definitely one to watch.

Match Facts & Stats

MK Dons enter the fixture having won ten out of their last eleven games. A win at London Road will see them overhaul Leicester City at the top of the table.

Posh, despite that unfortunate game at Leicester, are also on a remarkable run whereby defeats are a touch on the rare side.

Match Prediction:

This will be a tough one. MK Dons, under the stewardship of Roberto Di Matteo are flying. They`re scoring almost at will and the goals are evenly spread throughout the team. If Posh can get the prospect of the FA Cup replay out of their minds and show the commitment that has seen them lose only once in recent months, I suspect it`ll be the home side celebrating on the way home at around about 22:00 hours on Tuesday evening. Posh by the odd goal in three!

Next Fixtures:

Before we resume FA Cup action with the visit of West Bromwich Albion for a 3rd round replay there`s the small matter of a visit to Tranmere to play the side we knocked out in the 2nd round, for a League One game.


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