Posh remain within touching distance of league leaders Hull City, despite dropping two points at the weekend. Siriki Dembele and Sammie Szmodics gave Posh a two-goal lead in the first half before Rochdale’s Stephen Humphrys pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 55th minute.
Then, two goals in the final three minutes saw the hosts take the lead until Nathan Thompson was fouled inside the box, which Jonson Clarke-Harris converted from six yards out to salvage Posh a point in the 90+3 minute.
Although it felt like two points dropped, Posh remain three points behind Hull City, who also drew on Saturday, and can go joint-top this evening if they can overcome playoff hopefuls Blackpool, kick-off at 7pm.
Team News and Predicted Line-up
Ferguson was boosted by the return of Sammie Szmodics on Saturday after the midfielder missed Portsmouth last week due to a hamstring injury. He scored Posh's second goal of the game, before making way for Mo Eisa just after the hour mark.
Szmodics is likely to remain in the starting eleven for tonight’s game, but the boss could be cautious on how long he will last on the pitch, especially with Sunderland on the horizon.
Harrison Burrows was not involved in the squad that travelled to Rochdale, and the reason was later confirmed as fatigue. He is expected to return to the matchday squad this evening, while Ronnie Edwards (thigh) and Jack Taylor (hamstring) remain unavailable.
Predicted Line-up: Pym; Ward, Thompson, Beevers, Kent, Butler; Brown, Hamilton, Szmodics; Clarke-Harris and Dembele
Despite sitting 10th in the table and three points out of the playoff places, Blackpool are arguably one of the favourites to secure the final spot, notably based on their recent run of form.
Neil Critchley’s men are unbeaten in six League One games, winning twice and picking up four draws to put them seventh in the form table, three places higher than Posh. Not only has Blackpool’s recent run of results have been impressive, but the Seasiders are unbeaten at Bloomfield Road in nine League One games, with the last defeat against Doncaster Rovers on November 24.
Blackpool will enter today’s game on the back of a crucial win over their playoff rivals Oxford United, as two goals in the first half from Kenny Dougall and Daniel Ballard secured the victory away from home.
Ferguson, speaking in his press-match interview, knows Blackpool will be a tough place to visit. He said: “Whenever you travel to Blackpool you know it is going to be a tough game and right now they are in excellent form.
“This is the game in hand for both clubs, a win for us would be an excellent victory and one for them would bring them closer to the playoff picture. We know that we want to improve the performance, but ultimately, we are going there to win the game.”
Blackpool are one of the two sides to have won at The Weston Homes Stadium this season after a 1-2 victory when these two sides last met in November.
It was a game filled with late drama, as Frankie Kent’s header on 84-minute mark levelled the scores and gave Posh an uplift to grab the winner. However, Gary Madine’s 90th-minute winner broke the hearts of Posh supporters at home.
The visitors had taken the lead in the 19th minute when Jerry Yates fired past Christy Pym after being picked out by Sulley KaiKai on the left.
Blackpool wasted a host of chances throughout the 90 minutes to extend their advantage, and they soon paid the price when Posh defender Kent headed in Dan Butler’s corner to celebrate his 25th birthday.
But the celebrations were cut short when Madine pounced from close range in the final minute to tap home CJ Hamilton's low cross.
The defeat against Blackpool consigned Posh to their second consecutive defeat against the opposition, winning just once in six games.
Past Five Meetings
Posh 1-2 Blackpool – Nov 2020
Blackpool 4-3 Posh – Nov 2019
Blackpool 0-1 Posh – Apr 2019
Posh 2-2 Blackpool – Sep 2018
Blackpool 1-1 Posh – Feb 2018
Saturday's result against Rochdale was disappointing, especially having been two-nil up within the first half. However, tonight allows Posh to return to winning ways, build confidence, and go joint top with Hull City with a game still in hand. Blackpool are in a good run of form, with Bloomfield Road a difficult place to secure three points.
Blackpool 0-1 Posh