Posh and Burnley have met just 9 times at London Road with Posh having the upper hand having won 7 games and drawing 2. Burnley have won only once but they will be looking to make that two and kick start their disappointing start to the season.
Posh expect to name the same 16 players that made up the team at last weeks 1-0 defeat at home to Hull City. Boss Darren Ferguson was hoping some of the reserves would challenge for a first team spot, but they suffered a crushing 5-1 defeat in a friendly last Monday at Coventry.
Last weeks home defeat was the first League defeat at London Road for 18 matches, a run stretching back to November 2010. Darren Ferguson wants Posh to go on another unbeaten run if they are to maintain their Championship status and believes Posh need to hit Burnley hard and fast and to take the lead, something which they`ve failed to do in the Championship this season so far.
Ferguson told the Peterborough Evening Telegraph: “I`d love to see us take the lead with an early goal. It would relax us and I am sure getting in front would suit the way we like to play.
We are suited to hitting teams on the break so the first goal could be crucial tomorrow. Hull manager Nigel Pearson admitted last week that if we had managed to score first his team would have found it very difficult to get back into the game.
“That`s not to say we will lose our patience if it doesn`t happen though. We are playing well enough to win in any fashion, but scoring first would give Burnley a few more problems.”
Gaby Zakuani is expected to retain his place and play through the pain barrier having suffered a broken toe a few weeks ago. Lee Frecklington only managed to play the first half against Hull due to illness, but he has recovered and should start in midfield.
Ferguson is expecting better performances from both Lee Tomlin and George Boyd who both have been below par in recent games. Boyd hadn`t trained in the fortnight leading up to last weekend`s match.
“George went off with a calf strain at Brighton and didn`t do any work before the Hull match. He didn`t deliver his best form there probably because he lacked his usual sharpness, but he didn`t play badly either.
He`s a quality player though even at Championship level so I have no concerns about him whatsoever. He`s looked good this week and I`m anticipating a big performance from him.” confirmed Ferguson.
Vital Posh Danger Man: George Boyd
Burnley won their first League game of the season in their last away day at Derby County and they will be looking to repeat that performance and come away with another 3 points.
Striker Charlie Austin is bang in form this season having hit 4 goals so far. He is expected to have Jay Rodriguez partner him up front, who has scored 5 goals this season, all in the Carling Cup. Youngster Danny Ings, who played under manager Eddie Howe while they were at Bournemouth last season, and summer signing from West Ham, Zavron Hines, are both challenging for a starting spot.
Darren Ferguson will know all about Burnleys wingers. Ross Wallace and Keith Treacy used to be managed by Ferguson at Preston.
Burnley boss Howe believes they can go away with all 3 points but admits it will be tough to predict how Posh will play.
Howe said: “Peterborough are a tough side to read. They scored seven against Ipswich the other week and were excellent, but they`ve had a couple of defeats since then.
There`s no doubt though that they are a dangerous side. They look to play from back to front and they`ve got good attacking players so it will be a tough test.
I`ve locked horns against Darren`s teams a few times and Peterborough have always had that sort of unique style where they`re quite open in how they play.
They score a lot of goals, especially at home, so we`re wary of their threat but we also know we can pose them problems.
They lost their main goal scorer from last year who`s now doing very well for Brighton and when you lose players there`s always an adjustment to be made.
It`s a game I think we can win. We`re still very disappointed with our performance against Middlesbrough last week, but I`m confident that was a one-off.
We`ve reviewed everything and of course we`re going to try to make sure that a different Burnley turns up this weekend.
We`ve got to believe in ourselves more, but this season we`ve not had the results that perhaps we deserved.
I wouldn`t say we`ve done anything differently to how we normally prepare for games. We`ve had a chat about the Middlesbrough game and now we`re fully focused for the Peterborough game.
Sometimes you have to draw a line under a defeat and a performance and say ‘we`re looking forward`. We did that on Monday, we had a talk and then said we were looking to the next game and we`re going to make sure we prepare right and do all the things that got us a win at Derby in our last away match.
We have a very ambitious squad now. It`s a younger squad, but a hungry squad. All the lads are desperate to play for Burnley which is great from my point of view as you`ve got people champing at the bit to put the shirt on.
I`m happy with the squad. I think we`re full of talent and energy. We`re just a little bit light on numbers.”
Vital Posh Danger Man: Charlie Austin
Vital Posh View
Both teams will be desperate for all 3 points and it will be an intriguing contest between Burnley`s wingers and Posh`s attack minded fullbacks. Posh, not known for their clean sheets, will have to be on top form defensively to snub out the attacking pair of Austin and Rodriguez.
After scoring seven against Ipswich recently, Posh have failed to score in the 3 outings they`ve had since. Posh need to be more decisive and stop being so intricate with their passing. If Posh could convert their often superior possession into goals, they`d be wiping the floor with most teams. However, for all their possession, they are lacking the final ball or quality strike on target. This is something they must improve upon if they are to survive.
If Posh can keep Burnley quiet and create more chances themselves, Posh should come away from the match with their third home win of the season.
Vital Posh Prediction: Posh 2 – 1 Burnley
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