Peterborough United v Brighton - Preview
Peterborough United will try to achieve something they`ve failed to do on numerous occasions this season…to stay out of the relegation places for more than one match!
Peterborough United -Vs- Brighton and Hove Albion
Venue: London Road
Date: 16th April, 2013
Posh have once again managed to escape the bottom three and are looking to not only stay there but to maintain their 9 game unbeaten run and move further up the Championship table.
They face another tough opponent though in the form of Brighton and Hove Albion who themselves are battling to maintain their place in the play-offs. The Seagulls are also seen as a bogey side as they have won the last five matches against Posh. You have to go back to the 2008/09 League One campaign to find the last win by Posh over Brighton. Prior to that it was 1995/96!
Brighton have been in good form of late having won two and drawn three of their last five matches. This unbeaten run has seen them move from just outside the play-offs to fifth place in the Championship, two points ahead of Nottingham Forest who currently sit one place outside the play-offs.
The Seagulls last match was a comfortable 2-0 win at Middlesbrough thanks to two second-half goals from Andrea Orlandi and David Lopez [pictured below].
Posh should also have had a comfortable victory at the weekend but despite going 3-0 up against promotion chasing Watford, who had also been reduced to 10 men, they let their guard down as they believed they`d won the match easily only for Watford to stage a late comeback with two goals in the final five minutes to leave many Posh fans with a squeaky bum until the final whistle was finally blown. That victory lifted Posh out of the relegation places to be replaced by Barnsley and Wolves.
There have been 35 League matches between these two sides and despite Posh`s lack of wins over the last 18 years, they have won 11 matches compared to Brightons 16 with 8 matches ending all square.
Brighton secured a narrow 1-0 win over Posh earlier in the campaign thanks to a stoppage time winner from Stephen Dobbie. Joe Newell was the only recipient of a yellow card.
Posh suffered another blow on Saturday when another player suffered a hamstring injury. Mark Little, who has arguably been the most consistent player for Posh this season despite being on the transfer list for the whole campaign, hobbled off during in the first half of the win over Watford.
Little joins Michael Bostwick on the injury list as the fellow defender suffered a setback last week in his recovery from injury and could also be out of action for the remainder of the season.
Jack Payne suffered an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago during the game against Huddersfield but he may have recovered enough to feature at some point during the game but is expected to start on the substitutes bench should he pass a fitness test.
Danny Swanson was the surprise inclusion in the starting line-up on Saturday but he put in a man of the match display and topped it off with the opening goal. He is expected to retain his place unless Posh boss Darren Ferguson changes things around now he is without Mark Little.
Craig Alcock can play in the right-wing-back position vacated by the injured Little but the position could also be occupied by Swanson, Nathanial Mendez-Laing or Kane Ferdinand.
Alex Pritchard, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, is bursting at the bit for a starting slot but is expected to be named once again on the substitutes bench. Fellow loanee Florent Cuvelier, from Stoke City, can expect nothing more than a subs place following his disappointing debut at the weekend.
Vital Posh predicts the starting line-up will be:
Alcock, Zakuani, Knight-Percival
Mendez-Laing, McCann, Ferdinand, Rowe
Brighton and Hove Albion
Manager Gus Poyet welcomes back wingers Kazenga LuaLua and Will Buckley from hamstring injuries and they could both feature from the bench.
Poyet must also decide who should play between the sticks as former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak has returned to training following an injury to his elbow and is now challenging Casper Ankergren for the number one position.
Former Posh striker Craig Mackail-Smith will be returning to London Road but he won`t be playing against his former employers. CMS, who is Brightons top scorer with 11 goals, is out injured.
13 - Dwight Gayle
12 - Lee Tomlin
6 - Grant McCann
11 - Mackail-Smith
9 - Ulloa
8 - David Lopez
ROBERT MADLEY takes charge of this match. To find out more details of the referee, click HERE.
He will be assisted by Adam Crysell and Declan Ford.
The fourth official is Guy Stretton.
Saturdays win was a massive result for Posh but they now have to keep their unbeaten run going against another team who are in fine form.
Brighton have had the better results over Posh in recent years so it`s time Posh finally got their own back but they will need to be at the top of their game if they are to get anything out of this match.
The hamstring injury suffered by Mark Little will pose problems for Fergie and it will be interesting to see who he selects and the formation he starts with.
If Posh can play to the best of their ability then there is every chance of pulling off another win but anything less, such as the final 15 minutes witnessed against Watford on Saturday, could prove disaster.
The match could go either way and it should be another entertaining game but we think it could end all square.
Posh to draw: 1 - 1.
UP THE POSH
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