Date:Friday October 21 2011
22nd October, 2011
Peterborough United entertain Leeds United in a lunchtime kick-off at London Road with both teams hoping for that win that`ll take then into an automatic promotion place and play-off spot respectively.
Posh have won their first back to back games this season and will be hoping to make it 3 in a row.
Leeds on the other hand, are on a 6-game unbeaten League run.
With the home stands sold out for this match and the majority of Leeds tickets sold, it should make for a very good atmosphere.
Posh are proving to be worthy of their Championship place this season and have been unlucky not to pick up more points than they currently have. The Posh squad is also a lot stronger than it was two seasons ago and with the substitutes playing well whenever they get their chance, picking the starting eleven is far from easy for boss Darren Ferguson these days.
I do have a concern that Posh rarely play well in front of a full London Road though. Whatever the reason for this is, I don`t know but hopefully with the performances they`ve put in this season and the results they`ve achieved, they shouldn`t be afraid of any team in the Division.
Leeds are on a good run of results and will provide Posh with a stern test. However, if Posh can put in another determined performance, any result is possible.
Ferguson believes Saturdays game against Leeds will be Posh`s biggest test of the season.
Talking to , Fergie confirmed "Leeds are in good form and they will be backed by passionate support. They suffered a slow start to the season, but I watched their last away game at Doncaster and they were very impressive.
"They are hard-working and they are well-organised, but they also have outstanding individuals who will hurt you if you let them.
Meanwhile, the surprise player of Posh`s season so far, Lee Frecklington, is a big fan of Leeds!
Frecks told www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk "I grew up having no choice who I supported, I was always hearing about them and always watching dvds of them in action. The whole family are big Leeds fans".
"I still follow them closely so it will be great to play against them for the first time. I`m happy that they`ve been doing well lately, but we`ll be doing all we can to beat them tomorrow.
"It should be a great occasion and a great atmosphere. The Leeds fans are passionate and with a full house expected we are looking forward to the match.
"It`s one of the biggest games we will face all season and it`s become bigger because of how well we have started.
"The way we`ve played and the results that we`ve picked up have shown that we can compete with all the teams at this level and Leeds are no different.
"Obviously it will be a hard game, but we will go into the game confident that we can get a result."
Leeds boss Simon Grayson believes it will be a difficult game.
"People are saying that Peterborough are punching above their weight, but that`s based on the size of the club, their crowds and where they`ve come from.
"But in terms of their team they are clearly capable of anything. They`ve scored goals, conceded goals and had some really good results, and beating Cardiff the other night was a great result for them.
"They`re very entertaining and they`re quite gung-ho going forward. The way they play is going to make it a difficult game for us and a small ground is going to create a big atmosphere." admitted Grayson.
Posh have no new injury problems ahead of the game and although Paul Taylor put in another good shift which included the injury time winner against Cardiff on Tuesday, it looks as though Ferguson will stick with the same starting 11 for another game.
It is now becoming difficult to pick out the Posh player to watch as so many are playing well and influencing the game in different ways. However, this match could be won or lost in the midfield battle so a good performance by McCann is crucial for Posh`s chances of taking all 3 points.
Manager Simon Grayson has a few players nursing knocks so will leave his team selection until the last minute. He is reluctant to make changes following their good form but the fitness of some of these players could force him into changes.
One player Posh fans will be familiar with is goalkeeper Paul Rachubka who had a brief spell on loan at Posh a few seasons ago. Regular keeper Andy Lonergan has been sidelined with a broken finger so Rachubka has come in to replace him while he`s out.
It simply has to be hotshot Ross McCormack.
He is joint top scorer in the Championship alongside Southampton`s Rickie Lambert with 9 goals.
He won`t be the only threat though as Leeds have an impressive armoury including the likes of Argentinian Luciano Becchio, former Chelsea striker Mikael Forssel, ex-Wolves forward Andy Keogh and Billy Painter!
Posh and Leeds have met just once at London Road in the League. This was back in League One in the 2008/09 season.
Posh ran out 2-0 winners in front of over 13,000 fans, thanks to goals from George Boyd and Craig Mackail-Smith.
Posh are currently 4 places and one point ahead of Leeds but Posh have played one game more than their rivals.
Posh currently lie in 7th place in the Championship having taken 19 points from 12 games.
Leeds are in 11th place having played 11 games and taken 18 points.
Posh have won 4 and lost 2 of their last 6 league games while Leeds are unbeaten in the League in their last six games having won 4 and drawn 2.
Could it be from one bad referee to another for Posh in the space of 4 days?
Having been on the end of some poor refereeing in the Cardiff match by Nigel Miller, Posh now find themselves up against 42-year old Mr Keith Stroud for this match against Leeds United.
Stroud has yet to referee either team this season but he was the referee that sent off Mark Little last season against Bristol Rovers for two petty offences!
Assisting the Gillingham based official will be Mathew Buonassisi and Declan Ford. The Fourth Official is Richard Kendall.
Posh have a history of "bottling it" when they have a chance to move in to the automatic promotion spots and with this being another massive game in front of a virtual sell-out crowd, Posh will have to be at their best to get a result from this match.
Fergie has said his team are up for it so I think it`ll be a tight game which either team could nick by the odd goal. However, I`m going to sit on the fence for this one and predict a score draw:
Posh 1 - 1 Leeds United
29-Oct-11 A 15:00 Watford
26-Oct-11 A 19:45 Birmingham
30-Oct-11 H 13:15 Cardiff
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