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Paolo's Posh Preview: Cheltenham Town

A preview of this afternoon's Carabao Cup clash with Cheltenham Town
Ryan
Ryan Broom moved from Cheltenham to Posh this summer. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

Looking back over last season

Ask any Posh supporter, many will agree that 2019/20 season needs to be forgotten after club cruelly missed out on a play-off place due to EFL’s points-per-game (PPG) system, despite being strong contenders to gain automatic promotion with nine games left. However, Wycombe Wanderers managed to climb above Posh into 3rd - originally in 8th - before going on to win the play-offs.

Cheltenham Town likewise experienced a fantastic campaign in League Two last season, as the help of PPG saw them rise to 4th in the table – the highest finish since 2013. The Robins faced Northampton Town in play-off semi-finals, losing 3-2 over the two legs, as the Cobblers went on to beat Exeter City 4-0 in the final.

Attack vs Defence

This Saturday will see League One’s highest goal scorers, Peterborough United, and League Two’s strictest defence, Cheltenham Town, go head-to-head in a one-off cup tie.

Darren Ferguson’s attacking players were one of most feared in the league last season after scoring 68 goals in the league – nine more than Oxford United in 2nd. Ivan Toney managed to score overa quarter of those goals (24), which prompted Brentford to sign the 25-year-old last week.

His goals will be greatly missed in Peterborough’s attack, leaving Jonson Clarke-Harris with some important shoes to fill this season. Although, with him alongside Sirki Dembele and Ryan Broom, you are expected to see goals once again this season.

They will come against League Two’s most stubborn defence last season, who only conceded 27 goals – the best throughout the EFL – in 36 games and kept 13 clean sheets. Although their defence, and goalkeeper, will be called upon this weekend against an attacking Peterborough United side.

How has Peterborough United fared against Cheltenham Town?

These two sides have only met 10 times in their history, with Peterborough United winning five games and Cheltenham Town claiming two victories. The last fixture when both teams went head-to-head was on April 10, 2009, as a Joe Lewis mistake cancelled out Aaron McLean’s earlier goal for a 1-1 draw at London Road.

However, most supporters – preferably neutral – will want to see goals and are hoping for a repeat of the nine-goal thriller in 2008 when Peterborough United won 6-3 in Cheltenham. Remarkably only one goal was scored before halftime with George Boyd’s penalty before Posh knocked out Cheltenham in a thrilling second half.

League Cup misery

The league cup has been a miserable time of late for Peterborough United supporters. Since 2013, the club has failed to progress to round 3 of the competition. In four of those six years, they have been defeated in R1 - most recently against Barnet FC and Oxford United. 

Although many would argue that Posh need to focus on winning promotion back to the Championship, a nice cup run early on in the season could help elevate Ferguson’s side even more in 2020.

Key Players

It will be a familiar opposition for Posh new recruit, Ryan Broom, who was signed by Darren Ferguson from Cheltenham Town. The 23-year-old was instrumental in Cheltenham’s 3rd placed finish last season after he was top goalscorer at the club, scoring eight goals and claimed seven assists – seventh highest in League Two last season. His knowledge among his former teammates could help Posh expose a stubborn Cheltenham defence on Saturday.