|Peterborough United 2 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 9th February 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Blues Visit Posh Again Aiming to End Top Side Hoodoo
Tuesday, 9th Feb 2021 06:00
Town visit Peterborough United this evening again looking to end their frustrating form against League One’s higher flyers (KO 7pm).
So far this season, Accrington are the only team then sitting in the top six that the Blues have defeated with the only other side above Town's current position of 10th they have beaten are Crewe prior to the Railwaymen’s recent storm up the table.
In their eight games against the other seven sides above them they have been beaten on every occasion, including Peterborough's 1-0 win at Portman Road last month.
But the Blues go into tonight’s game against Posh following a confidence-boosting 2-0 home victory over Blackpool at the weekend.
“We go and try and win, we had a good game here, could have gone either way,” manager Paul Lambert said recalling the January match between the sides last month.
“It’s a hard game. I don’t think the pitch is going to be too great. It’ll be a hard game.”
Even before the snow of recent days the pitch at London Road had been in less than pristine condition, a water main close to the main stand having burst before Christmas and the leak having led to a significant build-up of water below the playing surface, which suffered as a result.
Lambert, whose side are unbeaten in four away from home, two wins and two draws, will probably look to make some changes to his team with quite a number of those who started at the weekend not having played too much football recently and with games set to come thick and fast in the weeks to come.
Tomas Holy will continue in goal with Luke Matheson probably continuing at right-back, although skipper Luke Chambers will be looking to make a swift return to the side having missed out at the weekend.
Lambert will have to choose between Myles Kenlock and Stephen Ward at left-back, while Luke Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness could continue at centre-half with Chambers also an option there.
In midfield, Lambert will probably stick with Flynn Downes, who may again wear the captain's armband, Andre Dozzell and Alan Judge, although Teddy Bishop is available again following his one-match ban.
Up front, Lambert could recall former Posh winger Gwion Edwards on the left with Luke Thomas probably still on the right and Troy Parrott down the middle, although James Norwood is an alternative and will be used from the bench if not in the XI.
Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson, whose side are fourth, seven points ahead of Town, is anticipating more open game than the fixture at Portman Road.
“Ipswich have a good squad,” Ferguson told the Peterborough Telegraph. “They’ve suffered a catalogue of injuries this season, but most of those players are now back and they’ve freshened the side up since we played them.
“The new players will bring pace, energy and youthful legs so I’m expecting a tough game against a side who will there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“I watched their game at Crewe recently and they played very well and they played well again on Saturday, which will fill them with confidence ahead of tonight.
“I’m expecting a more open game than we saw at Portman Road. Our pitch lends itself to that. The groundstaff are working hard on the surface, but it won’t be any different to what it was on Saturday.”
Regarding that dodgy surface, he added: “You can play on it which is the good thing and we’ve been playing very well on it so we will go into the game with confidence.
“We’re strong at home. We’ve been scoring goals and we’ve been doing well defensively. We’ll do what we always do and cope with whatever is thrown at us.”
Peterborough are unbeaten in six at home, winning five, and in overall in League One have won nine, drawn two and lost one at London Road, picking up 29 points, more than anyone else in the division along with Doncaster, although with Rovers having played a game more.
Historically, Posh have the upper hand, winning seven times (three in the league), five matches having ended in draws (four) and the Blues having been victorious on three occasions, including last season’s on-penalties win in the Leasing.com Trophy (once in the league).
Town are without a victory in their last six against Posh and have won only one between the clubs in their last 12 meetings, a 3-2 home success under Paul Jewell’s management in March 2012, the Blues’ only win against Peterborough at Portman Road.
At London Road, Town’s only victory over 90 minutes was a 2-0 FA Cup third round victory in January 1972 in which Mick Hill and Colin Viljoen were on target.
Last month at Portman Road, Mark McGuinness’s 69th minute own goal saw Peterborough to a 1-0 win.
Jonson Clarke-Harris missed a penalty for Posh in a dull first half and the game improved little in a second in which McGuinness scuffed past his own keeper to win three points for the visitors who otherwise didn’t manage a shot on target, while the Blues registered merely two.
In December 2019, Barry Cotter celebrated his 21st birthday by netting the decisive penalty as the Blues beat Peterborough 6-5 from the spot after a 1-1 draw at London Road in the second round of the Leasing.com Trophy.
Idris El Mizouni’s first senior goal saw Town into the lead in the 23rd minute but Ricky-Jade Jones levelled for Peterborough 10 minutes later.
Town and Posh had faced one another in League One at London Road four months earlier when skipper Chambers headed an injury-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
Norwood gave the Blues the lead in the fourth minute but Posh levelled through Ivan Toney, then went in front via Eisa.
The former Tranmere man saw a penalty saved and Town looked set for defeat until Chambers’s last-gasp leveller.
Blues winger Edwards joined Town from Posh for £700,000 in the summer of 2018. In two years at London Road the Welshman made 62 starts and 12 sub appearances, scoring 16 times.
Town striker Kayden Jackson, who is serving the third game of his ban, underwent a medical at London Road in the summer of 2018, Posh having agreed a fee with Accrington before the frontman 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 Tomas Holy in the summer of 2019, with the former England U20 international subsequently moving to London Road from hometown club Exeter.
Tuesday’s referee is Ben Toner from Lancashire, who has shown 60 yellow cards and two red in 19 games so far this season.
Toner’s last Town game was the 4-1 home victory over Tranmere in September 2019 in which he booked Norwood and two of the visitors.
His only Blues match prior to that was was the 1-0 FA Cup replay defeat at Lincoln City in January 2017 in which he booked Jonathan Douglas and two home players.
Squad from: Holy, Cornell, Matheson, Ward, Kenlock, Chambers (c), McGuinness, Woolfenden, Dozzell, Downes, Nolan, Judge, Huws, Harrop, Bishop, Lankester, Thomas, Sears, Edwards, Parrott, Norwood, Drinan.
Photo: Matchday Images
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