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Paolo's Posh preview: Swindon Town

Peterborough United turn back to League One action at the Weston Homes Stadium as they welcome newly-promoted Swindon Town this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
Chris Turner statue
Chris Turner statue at Posh ground

Darren Ferguson would have hoped for a stronger start to the 2020/21 League One campaign, losing twice on their travels and most recently against Sunderland after Jack Taylor fouled Hume inside the area, as Grant Leadbitter converted from the spot.

In what were many hoping to first home game back with a limited amount of supporters, Posh will continue to face Swindon Town in an empty Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday.

How do we expect to Posh to line-up?

Darren Ferguson has been consistent in playing the 3-5-2 formation, with Sammie Szmodics slotting just behind the two forwards, and we can expect Posh to line-up the exact same against Swindon Town.

Louis Reed, who was transfer-listed and taken off the League One squad list at beginning of the season, has made a u-turn in his Posh career with Ferguson reinstated back in the squad. Reed started and played the full 90 minutes at the Stadium of Light last Saturday, but Reece Brown could re-form his partnership with Jack Taylor in the middle of the pitch.

Despite the front-two failing to score in the opening three League One fixtures, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Siriki Dembele are likely to continue their strike-force this Saturday. Ferguson will be hoping they can break the scoring duck at the weekend as a shortage of goals look a worry at the moment, only scoring twice in three games.

Mo Eisa and Ricky Jade-Jones will be lethal options off the bench if the game is a stalemate or heading in Swindon’s direction.

Predicted line-up: Pym; Thompson, Beevers, Kent; Ward, Brown, Taylor, Butler; Szmodics; Dembele and Clarke-Harris

Opposition View

Swindon Town – nicknamed The Robins – spent the past three seasons in League Two after being relegated to the fourth division in the 2016/17 season by finishing third from bottom. The Robins finally secured promotion back to League One last season after they were crowned League Two champions based on average points per game.

Form - WLWLL

Lee Power’s men have endured a mixed return to the third division, sitting in 6th place after just three games which saw them beat Burton Albion 4-2 last weekend and claimed victory at home against Rochdale on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 League One campaign.

In between those two fixtures, Swindon Town travelled to Blackpool, losing 2-0 in their first and only away trip of the season so far.

We spoke to Mark Hanrahan to give us an insight on what to expect from Swindon Town this weekend and one key player to look out for.

“Swindon are a team that employ a very high press and attack with tempo. We’ll fly out of the traps in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Massive pace down both flanks with the threat of either crosses to our target man or cutting in and shooting an equally worrying threat for any defence.”

Key Player: Bobby Smith

“On loan from Bristol City and still moving up through the gears, fitness-wise. A frightening talent. Scored double figures on loan to a dreadful Oldham side last year. Already a fans favourite and amongst the goals at Swindon after a handful of appearances.”

Past meetings

These two sides have met 63 times since 1955, with Posh just nicking the advantage on wins with 23, as Swindon Town could draw level if they manage to secure a victory on Saturday.

Posh hasn’t faced Swindon Town since they were relegated from League One back in 2017, winning at the County Ground thanks to an early second-half goal from Christ Forrester after drawing 2-2 in the last game to take place at Weston Homes Stadium in the 2016/17 season.

Worryingly for supporters, Posh haven’t managed to beat Swindon Town on their home turf since August 2013 – losing and drawing twice in the process.

However, Ferguson will be hoping his side can overcome the newly-promoted side and have a repeat of their previous League One fixture at Weston Homes Stadium, which saw Sammie Szmodics strike late against Fleetwood Town.

Past five meetings

Swindon Town 0-1 Posh – 21 Jan, 2017

Posh 2-2 Swindon Town – 03 Sep, 2016

Posh 1-2 Swindon Town – 27 Feb, 2016

Swindon Town 1-2 Posh – 10 Oct, 2015

Swindon Town 1-0 Posh – 11 Apr, 2015

 

PeterboroughMatters Prediction

The newly promoted side will provide Peterborough United will a feisty and challenging encounter at the Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday.

Their pace down either flanks could be a worry for Ferguson’s men, and expose Posh’s 3-5-2 formation, pushing both full-backs into a deeper position than wanted. However, Posh’s ammunition in attack should be enough to see out Swindon Town, but don’t expect an easy match.

Posh 2-1 Swindon Town