Peterborough United take the short trip along the A47 to near neighbours Leicester City for an npower Championship match
Peterborough United take the short 42 mile trip along the A47 to near neighbours Leicester City for an npower Championship match.
Leicester will be looking to get back to winning ways following their first defeat since manager Nigel Pearson took over the reigns once more of the club.
Posh will also be looking to get back to winning ways following two high scoring but narrow defeats.
Posh have sold in excess of 1,600 tickets for tomorrow’s match, but fans can pay on the turnstiles although it will cost an extra £2 compared to tickets purchased in advance.
Leicester are expecting their biggest home crowd of the season as there is a Winter Wonderland organised to provide extra entertainment for younger supporters and they are offering cheaper than normal admission prices. There is also a >Grass Roots FA Respect event taking place as well which includes at least one Peterborough team.
Leicester’s biggest home gate of the season so far is 27,720 which was for the visit of Leeds United last month.
The Foxes will be without defender Matt Mills who is serving a suspension following his sending off against Leeds United last week. However, they have strength in depth with two Internationals hoping to take his place in former Posh player Sean St Ledger and Bulgarian Aleksandar Tunchev.
Other than Mills, manager Pearson has only one other absentee in the injured Darius Vassell meaning he has a large squad of players to choose from.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson would love to have the selection problems that Pearson has, but unfortunately he is down to just 16 fit first team players again!
Right back Mark Little had an operation on his groin injury this week and will be out of action for about four weeks, while Scott Wootton is about a week away from returning to action.
Fergie has hinted that he may change things around which could herald a first start for Irish starlet Daniel Kearns who had an impressive game when coming on as substitute in last weekends defeat by Barnsley.
Tommy Rowe slotted in at left back late on in that game in place of Tom Kennedy who is ineligible to play against his parent club this weekend. Rowe faces competition from young defenders Nathan Ralph and Kgosi Nthle.
Goalkeeper Joe Lewis is expected to retain his number one position following a surprise recall to the starting line-up last week. Despite conceding four goals on his return, he stood no chance with any of the goals and play well.
Vital Posh predicts the starting line-up could be:
Alcock, Bennett, Zakuani, Rowe
Frecklington, McCann, Kearns, Boyd
The Foxes will give Posh the utmost respect but are confident that they can get the result they want. Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare spoke ahead of this weekend’s game: “We are well aware of the offensive threats in the Peterborough team and we will give our players all the information they need about them.
“But we will also stress that this game is taking place on our patch. The King Power Stadium is our stadium and we need to make it a fortress.
“When teams come here they must be aware that they are in for a right battle and that we will have a right go at them.
“Peterborough have good players who are playing well, but we also want them to look at our team sheet and to worry about what we have got.”
Foxes boss Pearson is an admirer of Ferguson but will be determined to put one over him and get back to winning ways. “I have a lot of time for Darren. He has done a very good job there in his two spells. He has done exceptionally well for them,” Pearson said.
“He may have experienced something a little bit different to that elsewhere, but I know he is very competitive and he will have his side well prepared to try and get three points tomorrow.
“So we have to be aware of their threats and respect them, as we do with all the opposition.
“They are one of the division’s entertainers, but my focus is on what we do and not what they do. It is an important game for us after last week because we want to make progress in this division, so we have to get back on the winning track.
“We have to make sure the focus is on our own performance. We have played some good football, but also made some mistakes.
“We want to get the consistency you need for promotion. I have been pleased with how the players have gone about training and preparing for games since I returned.
“We have quite a big squad and we got beat last week, but I have seen some encouraging signs, even in defeat. In fact that’s when you learn more about your players.”
Speaking about the number of players available for selection, Ferguson said: “I may take a couple of the young lads with me tomorrow. It’s between Tommy Rowe, Kgosi Nthle and Nathan Ralph for left-back.
“We’re down to 16 senior players, but we still have strength in depth as the lads who came on as substitutes last weekend showed.
“We have to remember that even our best players can’t play well every week so we need good back-up.”
Looking at the managerial changeover, Fergie believes it will be a tougher challenge for his team: “Nigel is a very good appointment. His teams are always very well organised and hard to beat.
“He knows the club well and he has worked with plenty of the players before. He’s done what I did when I came back to Peterborough in that he has used players he knows he can trust while sussing out the rest of the squad.
“I have no doubts he will be successful. Sven’s record would have been good enough for most Championship club, but Leicester want promotion to the Premier League and they now have a man who could take them there.”
Ferguson is confident his side can cause upsets though as he continued: “It’s a tough match for us, but then you can say that about any fixture in this division, but shocks happen all the time. People might have expected us to beat Barnsley at home last week, yet we didn’t and those same people might have been surprised to see us win at Portsmouth.
“What I do know is that we will cause every team in the Championship problems. Pace always worries defenders and we have plenty of it in Emile Sinclair and Paul Taylor.
“We also have some very gifted midfielders, but as always in our games it will be about which team keeps the ball better.
“Our current form doesn’t look that great, but I watched the match against Barnsley again this week and we performed very well.
“We had 26 shots on goal, saw a goalkeeper make several fine saves against us and we hit the woodwork.
“I’m very calm and relaxed about our position in the league and I must transmit that to the players.
“We can get a result tomorrow as long as we are at the top of our game.”
STATS & FACTS
Leicester have played two games at home since Nigel Pearson took over as manager and those have resulted in two wins, five goals scored and none conceded!
Sitting in 10th place, Leicester are just four points outside the play-offs. They currently have 29 points from 20 games.
Leicester’s home record this season has yet to see them draw a game with the Foxes winning six out of ten home matches.
They have scored 16 times at home, five in the last two matches, while conceding ten goals at home, although they have kept two consecutive clean sheets since Pearson’s return.
Last Six Matches:
Last Six Home Matches:
Posh have slipped down the league gradually over the last few weeks and sit in 16th place with 24 points from 20 games.
Posh have lost six out of ten away games whilst winning two and drawing the other two matches.
They have scored 14 goals on the road but conceded 19!
Last Six Matches:
Last Six Away Matches:
6 – Nugent
4 – King
3 – Gallagher
2 – Beckford
2 – Konchelsky
2 – Vassell
8 – McCann
6 – Taylor
5 – Frecklington
5 – Sinclair
4 – Tomlin
4 – Boyd
Vital Posh can only see goals in this game at both ends with the game finishing in an exciting 2 – 2 draw.
Vital Leicester have predicted a 3 – 2 win for the Foxes.
Anthony TAYLOR takes charge of this game.
He will be assisted by Garry Beswick and Sian Massey.
The fourth official is Mark Brown.
UP THE POSH
Follow me on Twitter: @MWL1967
Image courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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