Bristol City -Vs- Peterborough United - Preview
Darren Ferguson takes his in form side to Bristol to face Derek McInnes` struggling Bristol City team who sit below Posh in the Championship table
Bristol City -Vs- Peterborough United
Date: 29th December, 2012
The Posh are in fantastic form and have won their last 3. The Posh have beaten Cardiff away, Bolton at home and Wolverhampton Wanderers away and are on a run that no one would`ve expected just a few weeks ago. They have embarked on a run that has lifted them off the bottom of the table and up as high as 22nd, just 2 points away from Championship safety.
The Posh ended Cardiff`s run of 10 straight home wins, the best run in Europe at the time, when they travelled to Wales and beat the table toppers 2-1. Michael Bostwick and Dwight Gayle on the score sheet that day. The posh side were brimming with confidence and proved that in the 5-4 win at home to Dougie Freedman`s Bolton. Tomlin, Gayle, Thorne, Little and Zakuani got the Posh goals in that Christmas cracker. And Posh`s 'Dwight Christmas` was complete as Lee Tomlin, Tommy Rowe and Dwight Gayle gave Posh a resounding 3-0 win at Wolves` Molineux Stadium.
Bristol City are currently propping up the npower championship after a less than impressive start to the season, not that anyone expected any fireworks from a side always likely to struggle. Their boxing day clash at home to Watford was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at their Ashton Gate Stadium, so their previous game was a 1-1 draw at Ipswich`s Portman Road, in a game that Neil Danns scored the Robins` goal.
Derek McInnes last saw his team win on the 8th December, when they beat Dave Jones` now in form Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 at Hillsborough. Former Posh transfer target, and villain to the Posh faithful, Sam Baldock scored 2 in that match, with dangerous winger Albert Adomah clinching the victory in the 88th minute for the Robins.
In this fixture last season, it was the Posh who ran out victorious, winning 2-1 thanks to a goal by George Boyd, and a cracker by Lee Tomlin, before Marvin Elliot pulled one back for the home side. But 6 of the players that played a part in that game for the Posh have moved away from the club since, and Darren Ferguson takes his current side to a ground that hasn`t exactly been made a fortress this season.
The Posh still only have 1 fit, recognised first team striker on their books at the moment. However, the little front man, Dwight Gayle, is in illusive form for the Posh, scoring 6 goals in 7 games since joining on loan from league 2 strugglers Dagenham & Redbridge. But good news came for Posh this week, after Barry Fry finalised a £500,000 deal to bring Gayle to London Road on a permanent basis, that could rise to £750,000.
Darren Ferguson will be forced to make a change to the Posh line up that has proved to be the winning formula, after George Thorne (pictured below) was recalled by his parent club West Bromwich Albion. Thorne had been impressing game by game in a Posh shirt and was relishing all the first team football being given to him by Darren Ferguson. West Brom have recalled the young man who is expected to go straight into their squad for their game with Manchester United at the weekend. He is likely to take the place of Youssouf Mulumbu, who is set to go away with the DR Congo squad for this year`s African Cup Of Nations competition. Darren Ferguson has already spoken to West Brom to see if a loan deal can be struck if Thorne isn`t needed in West Brom`s first team, before asking Thorne himself if he`d like to return to the club.
Grant McCann (below) is expected to be the man to replace Thorne in the starting line-up, but Fergie also has Danny Swanson, Kane Ferdinand and Daniel Kearns at his disposal. McCann has been forced to watch the last few games from the side line after Tommy Rowe`s return at left back saw Joe Newell shift into the midfield, and his fantastic performances alongside George Thorne, George Boyd and Lee Tomlin, meant it was McCann that couldn`t find a place in Fergie`s confident team.
Vital Posh predicts the starting line-up could be:
Little, Bostwick, Zakuani, Knight-Percival, Rowe
Newell, McCann, Boyd
Bristol City manager Derek McInnes has no new fresh injury problems ahead of the visit of Darren Ferguson`s team. Sam Baldock (below) is expected to lead the line for the Robins, after making a bit of a habit of scoring against Posh, doing it in the corresponding fixture earlier this season, and in previous seasons for MK Dons. Defender, Louis Carey, is pushing for a start should McInnes decide to rotate his side for the game against Posh.
Ryan Taylor (thigh) and Danny Wilson (hamstring) are City`s only real doubts for the fixture on Saturday.
8 - Tomlin
6 - Gayle
6 - Boyd
3 - Bostwick
8 - Davies
7 - Baldock
5 - Adomah
3 - Pearson
3 - Woolford
The Posh have silenced the doubters in the last 3 games, beating 3 of the top teams in the league. Cardiff, Bolton and Wolves would all have been expecting a victory against a Posh team that sat bottom of the table at the time. But 3 games, 9 points and 10 goals later, the Posh had the last laugh. They now sit 22nd, just 2 points off safety, which is their ultimate goal once again this season, and the team have never been so full of confidence.
The Posh, though, have suffered the loss of George Thorne back to his parent club, West Brom, and so the winning formula will have to be tweaked slightly. But Posh have readymade replacements in Grant McCann and Kane Ferdinand, who will be looking to earn back their places in the side, and that can only be good for the Posh team.
Bristol City are currently the bottom side in the division, winning just 5 games, and collecting just 19 points from their first 23 games this season. Derek McInnes is a manager that has been under the public spotlight, for all the wrong reasons, as the Robins look unlikely to be a Championship team next season. McInnes, though, like Darren Ferguson, has been given the backing of his chairman to get the club out of the position theyre in, and despite how hard that job is looking like it will be for the Scot, he`s willing to give it a go.
But in Posh`s current form, it`s hard to see how Bristol City will come away with anything from the game on Saturday, despite being the home team. Posh have just beaten 2 of the best teams in the Championship on their own turf over Christmas, and if they put in another confident performance, it could be a very happy new year for everyone at Peterborough United Football Club.
Vital Posh predicts a fully deserved3 - 1 win.
Andrew MADLEY takes charge of Posh for the second time this season on Saturday.
The referee from Yorkshire has refereed Posh once already so far this season, the 2-1 defeat at home to Millwall was officiated by Mr Madley. 2 yellow cards were given that day. The previous time he reffed Posh was away at Hull in January, in a match that despite Posh having the better of the chances, they failed to convert, and lost 1-0.
He will be assisted by Marvyn Amphlett and Christopher Powell.
The fourth official is Justin Amey.
UP THE POSH
Follow me on Twitter: @TomLea_
Photos/images courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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