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Paolo's Posh Preview - Accrington at home

Peterborough United welcome Accrington Stanley to the Weston Homes Stadium in a League One fixture today, with ambitions of returning to winning ways after the defeat against Blackpool on Tuesday.
Posh ground
The Weston Homes Stadium. Photo: John Baker

Darren Ferguson’s men were dealt a blow in their hunt for the League One title after Blackpool consigned Posh to a 3-1 defeat in the week. It was the worst possible start when Jerry Yates scored in the opening minute, but Joe Ward managed to equalise in the final moment of the first half.

However, Yates converted from the penalty spot before Luke Garbutt sealed the three points for the Seasiders.

Now, Posh remain three points off league leaders Hull City with a game-in-hand but will need to overcome a strong and resilient Accrington Stanley side this afternoon.

Team News and Predicted Line-up

There’s positive news on the injury front as Jack Taylor could make a return to the starting eleven next week but will miss this weekend clash against Accrington Stanley. 

The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury at the end of February, missing the last six matches, but is currently ahead of schedule. Teenager Ronnie Edwards (thigh injury) could make his return over the Easter weekend.

Siriki Dembele is a doubt to face Accrington this weekend after struggling with a back problem over the past few weeks and was taken off midway through the Blackpool defeat because of his back, Ferguson confirmed.

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

Opposition View

Accrington Stanley have been the underdogs of the season after narrowly avoiding relegation last season, with John Coleman revamping his team into playoff contenders. Stanley are currently sat in 12th place but are only three points off sixth-place Blackpool with one more game played.

However, two wins in five games have seen Stanley fall down the pecking order, and more crucially for Posh, they haven’t won on the road since beating Doncaster Rover on February 17.

Even better news for Posh supporters is that Coleman will be without his top scorer Dion Charles after he was selected to go on international duty with the Northern Ireland Under 21s. The striker has scored 17 goals so far this season, the third-best record in the league, and will give the Posh defence a slight confidence boost.

Speaking to Posh TV ahead of the match, Ferguson said: “It seems like a lifetime ago when we played Accrington Stanley on the opening day of the season. That was a very strange game if I am honest. A lot has changed since then. 

“We know that our home form is good, we have six games remaining at home and we have to make the most of the home advantage like we have done throughout this season. John Coleman has done a tremendous job at Accrington and they will provide a tough test, but we have to focus on ourselves.”

Previous Meeting

You would need to cast your minds back to the start of the 2020/21 season in September when these two sides last met, in what was a disappointing start to the campaign for Posh.

Stanley surprised Ferguson’s men with a 2-0 victory at Crown Ground after goals from Charles and Tariq Uwakwe.

It was an even first half, with neither side failing to create any significant chances, but Seamus Conneely’s cross was only cleared to Charles on the edge of the box, who volleyed home.

Clarke-Harris rattled the crossbar in the 59th minute as Posh pressed for an equaliser, but it was the hosts that sealed the three points five minutes from time.

Uwakwe collected the ball on the edge of the box and curled his effort into the top corner, which doubled Stanley’s advantage.

That fixture was just the ninth time both these sides have met in a competitive fixture, with Posh winning six of those, including three on the bounce before the defeat in September.

Last Five Meetings

Accrington Stanley 2-0 Posh – Sep 2020
Accrington Stanley 0-2 Posh – Jan 2020
Posh 4-0 Accrington Stanley – Oct 2019
Accrington Stanley 0-4 Posh – Dec 2018 
Posh 0-1 Accrington Stanley – Oct 2018

PeterboroughMatters Prediction

With Fleetwood Town and Sunderland on the horizon, it’s important for Posh to return to winning ways as soon as possible and rebuild their confidence. Accrington Stanley have been tough opposition for most teams this season, but without top scorer Dion Charles, it seems the perfect opportunity to play them. 

Posh 2-0 Accrington Stanley