Peterborough United -Vs- West Ham United - Preview
West Ham are looking to get their automatic promotion charge back on track while Posh are still looking to make their Championship status safe.
Peterborough United -Vs- West Ham United
Venue: London Road
Date: 27th March, 2012
Peterborough United host West Ham United in a competitive match for only the second time in their history.
The Hammers are looking to get back to the Premiership at the first attempt while Posh are looking to retain their Championship status.
Posh dropped down to 18th place following their weekend defeat by Barnsley while West Ham are four points behind second place Reading following their 1-1 draw away at Burnley on Saturday.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson is sweating on the fitness of skipper Grant McCann who aggravated a
alf injury. A number of other players are also nursing knocks.
Providing none of the knocks become problematic, Fergie is expected to name an unchanged side for the fifth game in a row.
If that is the case, the starting line-up will be:
Alcock, Brisley, Zakuani, Rowe
West Ham United
The Hammers welcome back Abdoulaye Faye from a knee injury while Ricardo Vaz Te and Julian Faubert are also in contention for a starting slot after recovering from hamstring injuries.
Guy Demel, Winston Reid and Papa Bouba Diop are all back in full training, but they are not expected to feature against Posh.
Fergie said 'I watched a DVD of their weekend game at Burnley and they were very impressive. They were the better team and deserved to win easily.
'They have some great players, a top manager and the best away record in the Championship so the task facing us is obvious.
'But we have proved that we can beat anyone in this division as long as we play to our highest standards. We showed what we can do when beating Reading last week and there`s no doubt in my mind that we will give them a very tough game if we play to our best.
'There is a lot of pressure on West Ham as they have to win. They are four points behind second place and this is their game in hand.
'They are not likely to catch Southampton at the top so they need to win this one, but my lads won`t need much motivation either. '
Former Hammer Grant McCann believes Posh are up to the task: 'West Ham are big and strong. They haven`t been on the best of runs, but they are still proving very difficult to beat.
'It goes without saying it`s a tough match for us, but if anyone can beat them we can. We`ve shown what we can do when we are on our game at home and if we perform like we did against Reading we can beat West Ham.
'The key could be starting well. We scored early against Blackpool and went on to play very well and although we let the first goal in against Reading we started the game well and carried it on for 90 minutes.
'We started poorly against Barnsley and never really got going, but we know we didn`t play well in that game and we`re determined to make up for that tonight.
'It`s a big game for me as an old player. I`d love to score the winner in the last minute from a free-kick and to be fair I`m due one as my set-pieces haven`t been that good lately.
'My form is returning though and I`ve been happy with most of my performances lately. We`re all looking forward to playing West Ham and with the crowd behind us like they were last week we must have a great chance. '
West Ham United
Despite being disappointed with the result on Saturday, Sam Allardyce was pleased with the performance: 'If I get a performance like that then I'm sure we can win,' Big Sam said. 'We deserved a win on Saturday so let's make sure we get it on Tuesday. We play Reading on Saturday and that's our chance to get back into second sport.
'I'm disappointed by the end result, not at all by the total performance that we gave for 90 minutes. I'm not disappointed with the chances created, just massively disappointed that our final finish wasn't good enough again.
'We controlled the game from start to finish, not just the second-half performance as it was there in the first half. Sloppy defending from us and good finishing from Burnley got them in front.
'We have to pick ourselves up and go again and if we have another performance like this I'm confident we'll win.' Continued Allardyce.
'It's a big game as it's our game in hand and then after that it's Reading so if we really want to get amongst the automatic promotion side of it we've got to beat Peterborough. If we beat Reading we know we go back to second spot.
'We know we've got to go back after Saturday's disappointment, It's sad we can't go there on the crest of a wave after getting the three points we deserved.'
STATS & FACTS
Head to Head statistics between these two teams can be found HERE.
A form guide to Posh and West Ham can be found HERE.
17 - Barnett (13 for Crawley)
10 - Taylor
8 - McCann
8 - Sinclair
7 - Tomlin
7 - Boyd
10 - Kevin Nolan
9 - Carlton Cole
7 - Mark Noble
The Hammers are going to be one of the toughest tests Posh will face between now and the end of the season.
Both teams will be desperate for the points as Posh want to retain their Championship status while the Hammers want to get back to the Premiership without having to go through the lottery of the play-offs.
I think West Ham will be really up for this match and their class will come through for them.
Vital Posh predicts a defeat for Posh: 0 - 2.
Christopher SARGINSON takes charge of this clash. Find out all his stats and when he has refereed Posh and the Hammers before HERE.
He will be assisted by Matt Foley and Danny Gratton.
The fourth official is John Farries.
UP THE POSH
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Photos/images courtesy of www.theposhpics.com