Peterborough United entertain Portsmouth at London Road this weekend as they look to end a run of three straight defeats in all competitions.
Peterborough United -Vs- Portsmouth
Venue: London Road
Date: 28th January, 2012
Posh recorded a win over Pompey at Fratton Park earlier this season, and will be looking to win their first game in 2 league games against them this time out.
Pompey travel to London Road with problems on and off the pitch. They will also be looking to end a run of three games without a win in all competitions. Their financial state is also in disarray as they struggle to find new owners to pay off their tax bill.
Posh will welcome the return of Grant McCann to the starting line-up for the first time since December, after being out with a knee injury. Lee Frecklington is also back in contention after an injury that has kept him out for the past few weeks. George Boyd could also return to the line-up if he recovers from a leg infection in time.
Daniel Kearns is also back in contention after being left out of the game against Brighton, which ended in a 2-1 defeat
Youngster Joe Newell, could also be in the frame as he impressed when he came on as a substitute against Gus Poyet`s Brighton side. Many Posh fans agreeing that Newell deserves a chance to show what he can do at this level.
Manchester United loanee Scott Wooton has returned to his parent club after his loan contract was terminated this week. Darren Ferguson said in his interviews that the decision to send him back was ‘mutual`. However fellow Manchester United youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe is still on loan at the club and can expect to at least be on the substitutes bench.
Some fans called for keeper Joe Lewis to be dropped to the bench after a below par performance against Brighton, however Ferguson has said in his interviews that he will be sticking by the big stopper, leaving Paul Jones on the bench once again.
Darren Ferguson again has a choice of who to start up front. Fans are calling for Lee Tomlin to be put on the substitutes bench after most of his running was after the referee in the recent fixture against Brighton. Unpredictable forward Emile Sinclair is expected to start, despite no one knowing which Sinclair we will see, Ferguson will be certainly be hoping for the Sinclair that is up for the game and knows where the goal is, as will the fans. Paul Taylor and Nicky Ajose are also fit if needed.
Vital Posh predicts the starting line-up could be:
Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock
Portsmouth are without midfielder David Norris, who will be serving the second of a three match ban, while Luke Varney is still out with a knee injury.
Defenders Aaron Mokoena and Tal Ben Haim could return to the starting 11 after returning from hamstring and groin injuries respectively.
Portsmouth will name striker Marko Futacs in their line-up again after he netted in Pompey`s recent 3-2 defeat to Cardiff
Darren Ferguson is happy with the players response from last weeks disappointing defeat to Brighton and has urged all the fans to back whoever is picked to pull on the Posh shirt.
Of course supporters are entitled to opinions about anything and anyone, but it`s important that whoever I pick is backed by the fans.
I want London Road to become a place that no team likes to visit and that will only happen if we stick together on and off the field.
Pompey full-back Joel Ward knows Portsmouth have to improve on a poor away record “We were the better side that night [against Posh]. We dominated the game, but they broke away and scored a winner in the last minute.
We need a similar performance tomorrow, but with a different result and I`m confident we will get it. That defeat hurt us a bit.
We`ll look to get at them straight away. We`ve got more than enough talent in our squad to cause them problems and to get three points.
We are concentrating on doing our jobs, but people insist on bringing up our away form!
STATS & FACTS
Posh and Portsmouth have each won 6 of the 20 meetings between these sides.
Posh have only beaten Pompey once at London Road, that was a 4-0 win back in 1980!
Portsmouth are only 1 place behind Peterborough, with Pompey in 17th, and Posh in 16th.
Head to Head statistics between these two teams can be found HERE.
A form guide to Portsmouth and Posh can be found HERE.
8 – McCann
7 – Sinclair
6 – Taylor
5 – Tomlin
5 – Frecklington
5 – Boyd
5 – Norris
5 – Varney
3 – Futacs
The away game ended in a win for The Posh, albeit through an own goal by Pompey`s Erik Huseklepp.
Vital Posh predicts a tight game ending in a battling 2-1 win.
David WEBB takes charge of this encounter.
His last Championship game was the boxing day fixture between Burnley and Doncaster. He gave 4 yellow cards and a penalty in the game, which ended 3-0 to Burnley.
He will be assisted by Declan Ford and Nick Hobbis.
The fourth official is Rob Hyde.
UP THE POSH
Follow me on Twitter: @TommLeaa
Photos/images courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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