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Paolo's Posh Preview - AFC Wimbledon

Peterborough United return to The Weston Homes Stadium this afternoon, as they welcome AFC Wimbledon in a League One fixture, kick-off 3pm.
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The sun sets over the city (Photo: archive.terry-harris.com)

Darren Ferguson’s men enter today’s game on the back of three victories, including a 3-1 success over Gillingham on Tuesday to end their dreaded poor away form.

It was an impressive second-half display that saw Jonson Clarke-Harris score a brace and Siriki Dembele turn the match back into Posh’s favour after going 1-0 down in the first half.

Another three points in the bag saw Posh rise to third in the table and one point behind league leaders Lincoln City. Ferguson’s men have the opportunity to go top if they claim victory against AFC Wimbledon, and other results go their way.

Team news and predicted line-up

Ferguson was boosted by the return of Siriki Dembele on Tuesday as he returned to the bench. The 25-year-old looked sharp and bright when he replaced Mo Eisa at half time, grabbing Posh's second against Gillingham which turned the game in their favour.

Ricky Jade-Jones could be back in the matchday squad after not being nvolved against Gillingham on Tuesday.

Ronnie Edwards is set to be the only player unavailable for Posh on Saturday as the youngster continues his rehabilitation on a thigh injury.

Ahead of their clash against AFC Wimbledon, the Posh boss has called for consistency from his squad after picking up three wins on the bounce, sending themselves second in the table and just one point behind league leaders Lincoln City.

Ferguson said: “We have to be at it. There is no clearer message to our players than, ‘we have dropped points against teams in the lower part of the league and we have to stop that'. Saturday is another example of that and we have to put the foot down now. We have to go up another couple of levels and maintain this consistency. Certainly, we can’t drop the levels that we’ve produced recently.”

Opposition View

AFC Wimbledon find themselves at the wrongfoot of the table, sitting in 20th and narrowly above the relegation zone on goal difference, and are on the back of just one victory in five League One fixtures.

However, The Dons travel to The Weston Homes Stadium on the back of a vital victory against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic. Wimbledon’s Jack Rudoni opened the scoring, and shortly after, Joe Pigott extended their advantage to two. Wigan crawled back to two goals through Curtis Tilt and Jamie Proctor, but Wimbledon sealed the three points when Pigott converted from the penalty spot.

It will also be Mark Robinson's first game in charge of The Dons after being appointed manager on Thursday, with Posh supporters hoping they don’t come against a newly motivated squad on Saturday - one that beat them when the two sides met in December (see below).

He commented on the opposition: “They are a very good side. We defended really well that night and we got the goals. They are clearly one of the best football sides in the league. If you let them play they can cause you all sorts of problems, so it’s all about us.

"I couldn’t care less that it’s away from home: we are going to go there and try to stamp our authority on the game. We need to build an identity. Going there and worrying about them is not going to happen. All I am asking the lads to do is to go there and be on the front foot. Let us keep building our identity.”

Previous meeting

It was AFC Wimbledon who were victorious when these two sides met in early December.

Posh were unfortunate not to take the lead in the opening stages as Ryan Broom crashed an effort against the crossbar, while Dembele was causing mayhem across Wimbledon’s back-line.

However, the hosts opened the scoring in the second half when Ryan Longman tapped in Rudoni’s spilt effort. Wimbledon doubled their advantage on the hour mark when Pigott scrambled the ball home from a scrappy corner.

Jonson Clarke-Harris found the back of the net with five minutes remaining after thundering home a 25-yard free-kick, but Posh couldn’t find the equaliser.

It was Wimbledon’s first victory back at Plough Lane, while their win piled misery on Posh during a dreadful away run.

Last five meetings

AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Posh – Dec 2020

AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Posh – Jan 2020

Posh 3-2 AFC Wimbledon – Sep 2019

AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Posh – Mar 2019

Posh 1-0 AFC Wimbledon – Nov 2018

PeterboroughMatters

Posh are on an excellent run of form and their rise to third in the table would have certainly boosted the spirits at the club. With their terrific form at the Weston Homes Stadium, I can’t see anything else than a victory for Ferguson’s men ahead of another busy week.

Posh 2-0 AFC Wimbledon