Nottingham Forest v Peterborough United - Preview
Nottingham Forest -Vs- Peterborough United
Venue: City Ground
Date: 26th December, 2011
Peterborough United travel to midlands rivals Nottingham Forest hoping to put an end to a nightmare set of Boxing Day results.
Posh have won just once on Boxing Day in the last 10 years! That came three seasons ago in a rare home game against Millwall. In all that time, Posh have only had two games at home on Boxing Day!
Forest are still without the injured defender Wes Morgan (ankle), striker Ishmael Miller (foot) and long-term absentee Chris Cohen (knee).
They are waiting on Joel Lynch (groin) with Brendan Moloney or Guy Moussi on standby if Lynch is ruled out.
Posh are still without injured skipper Grant McCann but received some encouraging news about Lee Tomlin and Lee Frecklington who are both responding well to treatment.
Team selection all depends on the fitness of Tomlin and Frecks but if one or both are ruled out, Scott Wootton could be a surprise selection. Wootton has been out of action for two months after picking up a knee injury in training. He has been recuperating at his parent club Manchester United but he is now back at Posh and is in contention for the defensive midfield role vacated by McCann.
Ryan Tunnicliffe and Daniel Kearns both did enough to keep their places.
George Boyd will once again deputise against the team he spent some time on loan two seasons ago.
Striker Emile Sinclair is also looking forward to keeping his starting pace against his former team.
Vital Posh predicts the starting line-up could be:
Alcock, Bennett, Zakuani, Rowe
Frecklington, Tunnicliffe, Kearns, Boyd
Forest boss Steve Cotterill has been pleased with the performances of his team of late, despite the lack of goals: "Our performances have warranted goals and points in recent weeks. As long as we stay focused I am sure both will soon come together.
"We can`t carry on as we are without the goals going in and us winning games. It will happen.
"Our performances over the last three games, when we have picked up only one point, do not merit us being in the bottom three.
"But we just need to keep our heads and carry on playing as we are playing. We are not oblivious to our position, but we have not had a lot of luck either in front of goal or with our injuries."
Cotterill has already experienced losing against Posh this season when suffering a 3-2 defeat at home during his managerial reign at Portsmouth continued: "Because of the way they play, they are dangerous. When you play Peterborough, you have to be aware of their attacking threat.
"We will be aware of it, but we also need to focus on our own performance, because that is what is going to get us three points.
"We`ve been working hard on all aspects of our game in training. The attitude of my lads is top notch and I am confident we will turn the corner results-wise very soon."
Defender Scott Wootton feels he is ready to play should he be called into action: "It`s been a very frustrating time for me," Wootton admitted. "But the rehab has gone well. I`ve played two reserve team games for Manchester United with no ill effects so I`m ready for action if the manager needs me.
"I have played in midfield before and I don`t think I let anyone down so I`d love another crack.
"The season hasn`t really taken off for me yet so I now just need to start playing games. The Championship is a tough league with some big clubs involved and I`m determined to make an impact.
"We still have around 25 games to go so there`s still plenty of time for me.
"It was irritating to pick up the injury in the first place. I just went in for a slide tackle. I felt something go, but I carried on training thinking it was just a minor thing.
"But I`ve received great treatment at United and made good progress. I feel strong now and ready to do myself justice."
Despite having another away game on Boxing Day, Fergie is happy with the fixture schedule: I don`t think we could get many better games on Boxing Day than Forest away. It`s a relatively short journey over there and I`m sure we`ll have a good following.
"Retaining possession of the ball and frustrating Forest will be key to getting a result there.
"They are on a bad run and we have to put them under pressure and try to make their fans uneasy.
"If you look at Forest`s squad you certainly wouldn`t expect them to be in their current position, but they are down there for a reason.
"They haven`t scored in five games and hopefully by 5pm on Monday that run will have been extended to six matches.
"Forest tend to go with a 4-4-2 system at home and I fully expect them to operate with wingers against us.
"Being on a bad run can affect you mentally regardless of your ability. I`m sure everyone will still expect them to beat little old Peterborough but we`ll be doing our utmost to ensure that`s not the case."
STATS & FACTS
Head to Head statistics between these two teams can be found HERE.
One point from the last five games shows the kind of results Forest fans have had to suffer. In fact, they have failed to score in their last five games!
Two of the last three Boxing Day matches Forest have been involved in have finished goalless.
Last six matches:
Last six home matches:
Posh signed off their home 2011 fixtures with a 1-0 win over Coventry City. Their first clean sheet of the season.
That win moved Posh up two places to 15th place, seven points above Forest.
One win in the last six matches is a statistic Posh are desperate to improve.
Posh have not been involved in a goalless draw for 97 games. After breaking their duck last time out to claim their first clean sheet of the season, could this match see their goalless draw record fall?
Last six matches:
Last six away matches:
3 - Miller
3 - Tudgay
2 - Findlay
2 - McGugan
2 - Majewski
8 - McCann
6 - Taylor
5 - Tomlin
5 - Sinclair
5 - Frecklington
Forest have been playing well but not getting the results. Posh have a very poor set of Boxing Day results.
I hope Posh can avoid another Boxing Day defeat but I think to win this match is going to be very difficult.
Vital Posh predicts the first goalless draw for 98 games for Posh - 0 - 0.
Oliver LANGFORD takes charge of this clash.
He will be assisted by Matthew Bristoe and Stephen Ross.
The fourth official is Danny Gratton.
Image courtesy of www.theposh.com
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