|Peterborough United 2 v 2 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 17th August 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Town Aim to Continue Positive Start and End Long Wait for Win at Peterborough
Friday, 16th Aug 2019 15:24
Town visit Peterborough on Saturday looking for their first win at London Road since January 1972 - and their first ever victory there in the league - as they aim to continue their positive start to their League One campaign.
Goals from Mick Hill and Colin Viljoen saw Bobby Robson’s Blues to a 2-0 victory over Posh in a third round FA Cup tie on that occasion, Town’s only win at London Road, which is currently known as the Weston Homes Stadium.
The teams didn’t meet again until 2006 since when Peterborough has been a less than happy hunting ground, most notably in August 2011 when the Blues fell to that infamous 7-1 defeat.
Paul Lambert’s side travel to Cambridgeshire having won their opening League One away game at Burton 1-0, before last Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland, a match which they should have won.
That result was followed by Tuesday night’s 3-1 Carabao Cup first-round exit at Luton, however, it was a much-changed line-up featuring players on their way back from injury and youngsters which faced the Hatters.
Lambert will be hoping his team can take their League One points tally to seven from nine, which will constitute a solid start to their first third tier campaign in 62 years.
“We’re playing well, and that’s the thing,” he said. “We know what we’ve got to go and do, everybody is right behind it, and we’re ready for the game that’s for sure.”
Despite Peterborough having lost all three of their games so far this season, a 3-1 home defeat by Fleetwood was followed by two 1-0 losses at Oxford United, one in League One, one in the Carabao Cup, Lambert is expecting to face a tough Posh side.
“It’s going to be strong, it’s a strong team,” he said. “But we’ve got 4,000 fans going which is incredible, it’s an extraordinary support we have, it really is.
“That’s the way the club should be. It shouldn’t be what I saw against Middlesbrough all those months ago where you could have heard a pin drop.
“Now it’s different, a totally different ball game with the support and it’s credit to them coming out in their numbers to support and get behind the team.
“There’s been a lot of young ones coming and a lot of new ones I’ve noticed, but that’s the way it should be, that’s what you call a proper support.”
Does he expect Peterborough to be challengers for promotion this season? “I expect every team, not just because it’s a big club or a big name. Every game’s hard, every game’s tough, this will be no different to any other game, every game is tough.”
Regarding Posh manager Darren Ferguson, a fellow Scot, he added: “I don’t know him particularly well, I know of him and I’ve met him a few times, but I don’t know him that well.
“They’ve gone for it at the start of the season, and maybe results haven’t been great. Darren’s not happy with the way they’ve performed, but it’s still a hard game.”
Lambert says he’s led sides at London Road before and believes his team will be helped by their large away following.
“I’ve been there a few times,” he recalled. “Our support will be brilliant and our support will get right behind it, and it’ll be a great atmosphere, and we know we have to go and win.”
Lambert will return to a side close to the one which started against Sunderland, although the Blues manager mentioned that one or two unnamed players were suffering from knocks at this morning’s press conference.
Tomas Holy looks set to start in goal, while Janoi Donacien will be at right-back with Kane Vincent-Young expected to complete his move from Colchester once the results of his medical have been confirmed over the weekend.
Myles Kenlock will be at left-back with skipper Luke Chambers and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.
Cole Skuse and Flynn Downes appear set to return in the centre of midfield with Danny Rowe on the right.
Luke Garbutt misses out due to the knee injury he suffered last week and Lambert has a decision to make in the wide left role.
Alan Judge is perhaps the most obvious choice, however, the Town manager is concerned about the Republic of Ireland international playing another game so soon after his first start of the season at Luton.
Lambert made similar comments about Gwion Edwards, who played his first game since April at Kenilworth Road, although the Welshman has said he is ready to play against his former club.
Other alternatives include Jordan Roberts, Andre Dozzell or Idris El Mizouni, although the latter pair are more comfortable in the centre than in wide roles, while Lambert played down the chances of Armando Dobra being handed a league debut despite the Albanian U19 international’s bright display and debut goal against the Hatters.
Up front, Lambert seems likely to continue with the James Norwood-Kayden Jackson pairing.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson believes Town will be one of the contenders at the top of League One come the end of the season.
“Ipswich getting relegated obviously means they’re one of the bigger clubs in the league,” he told the Peterborough official website.
“Come the end of the season they’ll probably be one of the teams up there – they have a very experienced manager and have started the season well.
“It’s going to be a test for us. These are the games that I look forward to and the players want to play in.
“There will be 4,000 away supporters and I draw similarities from the back end of last season when we faced Sunderland. It was a big crowd and a big atmosphere and I expect similar on Saturday.”
Regarding their poor first fortnight of the campaign, Ferguson added: “Obviously we’re disappointed with the results at the start of the season, to lose three games on the bounce at any stage is disappointing.
“After analysing the three games we’ve played it’s not hard to see that the goals we’ve conceded have all been avoidable.
“It’s all about what my players give, I saw some good signs on Tuesday, added to the second half against Oxford on the Saturday – we’ve just got make sure we keep progressing. We have got different ways of playing in terms of formations and shapes.
“As I said I can see good signs, so we just need to keep the belief and stick to our guns. There’s no lack of confidence but we just have to iron out certain things. I’m convinced once we get that first win, we’ll be absolutely fine and we’ll start putting results together.”
While the Blues are close to signing Vincent-Young, Peterborough have added a right-back of their own to their squad ahead of Saturday's match.
Nathan Thompson has joined them on a two-year deal having left Portsmouth at the end of last season in search of a move to the Championship.
Historically, Posh have the upper hand, winning five times (two in the league), four matches having ended in draws (three) and the Blues having been victorious on two occasions (once in the league).
Despite their lack of a competitive win since 1972, Town were actually victorious in their last game at London Road, a 3-1 success in an epic four-quarter friendly encounter in pre-season ahead of 2017/18.
The teams last met at London Road in March 2013 when Frank Nouble came closest to breaking the deadlock as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Nouble, who had signed from Wolves two months earlier, struck the woodwork from 25 yards and then forced Posh keeper Bobby Olejnik into a fine save during the first half.
Earlier that season at Portman Road, DJ Campbell netted his fifth goal in nine games from the penalty spot in the second half as the Blues drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Peterborough.
Posh went ahead via Lee Tomlin during a dreadful first half with Town improving after the break.
Blues winger Edwards joined Town from Posh for £700,000 last summer. In two years at London Road the Welshman made 62 starts and 12 sub appearances, scoring 16 times.
Town forward Roberts was a first-year scholar with Peterborough before being released, while Kayden Jackson underwent a medical at London Road in the summer of 2018, Posh having agreed a fee with Accrington before the striker ultimately opted to join the Blues.
Town’s academy head of player and coaching development Bryan Klug was a player with Peterborough between 1984 and 1985.
The Blues spoke to Posh keeper Christy Pym prior to signing Holy in the summer, with the former England U20 international subsequently moving to London Road from hometown club Exeter.
Veteran midfielder George Boyd almost joined the Blues from Peterborough in the summer of 2012 but Town were unable to agree terms with the Scotland international. Peterborough’s first-team coach is former Town loan striker Aaron Mclean.
Saturday’s referee is Martin Coy from Durham, who showed 94 yellow cards and two red in 35 games last season.
This year he has refereed one match, Tuesday’s 2-2 Carabao Cup draw between Blackpool and Macclesfield in which he showed five yellow cards. The game at London Road will be Coy’s first Town fixture.
Squad from: Holy, Norris, Donacien, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Clements, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Skuse, Downes, Dozzell, Huws, Nolan, Judge, Edwards, El Mizouni, Rowe, Dobra, Roberts, Jackson, Norwood.
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