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Paolo's Posh Preview: Plymouth Argyle

Peterborough United are back on their travels as they face Plymouth Argyle at Home Park in a League One fixture tonight, kick-off at 7:30pm.
Posh are on the road at Home Park this evening, Tuesday February 23

Darren Ferguson’s men continued their excellent run of results by comfortably beating AFC Wimbledon 3-0 at the Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday.

A brace from Sammie Szmodics and a goal from Jonson Clarke-Harris in the second-half sealed three points for Posh, sending them into 2nd in the table, one point behind Lincoln City.

Posh have the opportunity to return to the top of the table this evening if they beat promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle, who have an excellent record at home.

Team news and predicted line-up

Ferguson only made one change to the team that faced AFC Wimbledon on Saturday as Siriki Dembele replaced Mo Eisa after returning from an injury that kept him on the bench against Gillingham the week before.

Current goalkeeping coach and Posh legend Mark Tyler was a surprise inclusion in Posh matchday squad on Saturday, having to be utilised as the back-up keeper on the bench. The 43-year-old will be involved once again in their trip to Plymouth as back-up goalkeepers Dan Gyollai and Will Blackmore are both currently self-isolating.

Reece Brown is available for selection despite taking a knock at the weekend, while defender Ronnie Edwards remains out with a thigh problem.

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

Opposition view

Despite being promoted to League One last season after finishing third in League Two, the Pilgrims are eyeing back-to-back promotions. Plymouth Argyle is currently 10th in the table, six points from Portsmouth in the final play-off space.

Ryan Lowe’s men enter today’s game unbeaten in nine games, five wins and four draws, including victories over high-flying Accrington Stanley, Sunderland and Fleetwood in the past month.

Even more importantly for Posh, Plymouth has the third-best home record in League One, losing just three times in 15 games, while Ferguson’s men struggle on their travels but hope the victory over Gillingham last week can rejuvenate their away form.

We spoke to Plymouth supporter, Finley Allen, to get a perspective on the season so far and the player Posh should look out for.

"On the whole, I don't think many Argyle fans could've hoped for much better so far season. After gaining promotion to league one last season, Argyle now find themselves placed 10th in league one with an outside chance of the play-offs as we move towards the final quarter of the season.

"We have a very young and talented squad, in which we have made some smart additions, and whilst this has led to some inconsistency at times, I think we are capable of beating anyone at this level when the team is on song."

Key player: Luke Jephcott

"I think it would be silly not to yet again mention Argyle frontman Luke Jephcott. The 21-year-old continues to turn heads from further up the league pyramid, particularly with a potential international call up with Wales on the horizon. With 18 goals so far this season and still with a fair chunk to go, I think the only way is up for Jephcott and will almost certainly pose a threat for posh tomorrow evening."

Previous meeting

Clarke-Harris ended his goalscoring drought as Posh returned to winning ways when these two sides met back in November at the Weston Homes Stadium.

It was a tightly contested game as Ferguson’s side entered the game on the back of a defeat against Blackpool.

However, Posh got a boost moments before half-time when Clarke-Harris unleashed a fierce left-footed shot from a tight angle, breaking the deadlock in the 41st minute.

Chances were thin for both sides, as one goal proved to be enough for Posh to see off Plymouth, who had still failed to win on their travels at that point.

It was even better when Posh last travelled to Home Park as braces from Matt Godden and Jason Cummings condemned Plymouth to a 5-1 defeat.

Last five meetings

Posh 1-0 Plymouth – Nov 2020
Posh 0-1 Plymouth – Feb 2019
Plymouth 1-5 Posh – Aug 2018
Plymouth 2-1 Posh – Apr 2018
Posh 2-1 Plymouth – Aug 2017

PeterboroughMatters prediction

Posh entered today’s game in excellent form but will be tasked in facing a Plymouth Argyle side who have been great at home so far this season, in contrast to Posh's weak away form. However, Ferguson’s men should have enough quality to overcome Lowe’s side and continue to pile pressure on Lincoln City.

Plymouth 1-2 Posh

Finlay's prediction: "Argyle remain only one of two unbeaten sides in the top four leagues since the start of 2021, with current Premier League leader Manchester City. I do feel that record might come to an end tomorrow as I think Posh will just have a little bit too much quality. I'm going for a battling 1-2 loss."