It is without a doubt that the clash on Saturday afternoon between Peterborough United and Portsmouth is the biggest match in League One so far this season.
Posh are sitting pretty at the top with Pompey breathing down their necks in second place, two points behind them. Six wins and one draw is the best ever start to a season by Posh although they will be wanting to improve on the result the last time they played at the ABAX Stadium. That match, against Doncaster Rovers, ended Posh’s winning run in the League when their former manager Grant McCann plotted the downfall of his previous club but could only go away with just one point.
Funnily enough, it was McCann’s Rovers who ended the winning start to the season for Pompey when they battled out a goalless draw. That was one of two draws Pompey have had in the League while winning the other 5 matches.
Last season, Pompey beat Posh on the last day of the season to finish in eighth place with Posh just one place behind them. Both teams have kicked on from then with a lot of personnel changes taking place at both clubs with Pompey bringing in nine new players while waving goodbye to six while Posh have brought in 18 new players with 20 players departing the ABAX Stadium!
Comparing the 22 players that started that final day clash to the potential line-ups for Saturday and there may be just 5 or 6 players who featured last season.
There may be just one player who featured for Posh from the start that day who may appear this weekend and if he does, it will be his first start for Posh this season. Marcus Maddison is that player in question although Joe Ward came on as a second-half substitute and has featured regularly this season. Despite the impressive cameo appearances Maddison has made this season, Ward is the more likely to start. Ryan Tafazolli is the only other player who was at Posh last season and who is expected to play this weekend but he was injured for that clash last season.
With at least half the Pompey starting line-up expected to be different to last season, they, like Posh, are still to hit top form as the players are still getting to know each other so the fact that both sides are in the top two positions bodes well for both clubs.