A defining moment in Peterborough United season takes place this Saturday as they welcome fellow-strugglers Barnsley to the Weston Homes Stadium in a Sky Bet Championship fixture.
Darren Ferguson’s men were condemned to a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night, their dreadful away form sinking Posh back into the relegation zone after a victory for Hull City.
So, it’s fair to say that Saturday fixture against Barnsley, who are one-place below Posh, is arguably a six-pointer with supporters in PE2 hoping that their home form can deliver after a miserable week.
Team News and Predicted Line-up
Posh continue to be without forwards Jack Marriott and Ricky Jade-Jones due to injury. Oliver Norburn was forced off in the second-half against Blackburn Rovers after it was revealed he was struggling with illness, and will be assessed ahead of Saturday.
Joel Randall has since recovered from a lengthy injury, and after two promising showings in two under 23 run-outs, the midfielder has been added to the first-team squad and will likely be among the substitute bench against Barnsley.
Predicted Line-up: Cornell, Ward, Thompson, Beevers, Edwards, Burrows, Taylor, Coventry, Dembele, Clarke-Harris, Szmodics
It has been whirlwind six months for the Barnsley faithful, fighting against the odds last season to reach the play-offs before being beaten by Swansea City in the semi-final. Fast forward to now, and The Tykes have endured a campaign of opposites so far, sitting in 23rd place with only two victories to their name – the fewest in the division.
Barnsley recently appointed a new manager, Poya Asbaghi.
He will have a massive task on his hands this weekend, and face another challenge, as The Tykes go in search for their first victory on the road this season – with only Posh having a worse away record in the Championship.
Speaking in pre-match interview, Ferguson believes the first goal will be key ahead of an all-important game for both sides.
“Barnsley have changed their manager and the new gaffer was in charge against Swansea, and possibly against Fulham, you don’t know, but they have made a switch to try and change their fortunes, but it is about how we perform and what we do that matters. I think the first goal will be key, I am sure both managers will be saying that in their media briefings, we need to start the game well.”
The sides last met in League One action back in 2018 which saw Barnsley come out 2-0 victors at Oakwell.
Former midfielder Alex Mowatt, who joined West Bromwich Albion in the summer, put the hosts ahead on 25 minutes after he converted Dimitri Cavare’s low cross from six-yards out.
The hosts doubled their advantage on 49 minutes thanks to a 30-yard wonder-strike from Cauley Woodrow over Conor O’Malley and into the top corner.
Posh have struggled in the last three meetings against The Tykes, losing all three and failing to score a single goal, but hoping their home record this season can pick up their first victory against Barnsley since 2015.
Peterborough Matters Prediction
As I have mentioned above, the game is a six-pointer and can really define the rest of the season for Posh. A win, and the positive atmosphere will be reinstalled ahead of another tough few weeks of fixtures, but defeat, and it would suggest a real fight against relegation this season.
I believe they can pick up maximum points.
Posh 2-0 Barnsley