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Paolo's Posh Preview - Lincoln City home

Will today finally be the day? One point in the final two games will be enough to see Posh secure automatic promotion to the Championship – but they face Lincoln City who could still leapfrog Posh for second-place.
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Posh's last match against Lincoln ended in a draw - which would be enough to secure them promotion today

Posh never do it easy, do they?

Darren Ferguson's men were forced to wait a little longer to secure automatic promotion after letting a two-goal lead slip against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night.

A win would have been enough for Posh to finally secure their first return to Championship since 2013 – but celebrations were delayed until today's game against in-form Lincoln City, in which Posh just need a draw to finally secure promotion.

The Imps victory on Tuesday against Shrewsbury Town meant Michael Appleton's side are still in contention for an automatic spot, notably, with a game-in-hand. 

So, today's fixture could either spark celebrations on the street... or start panicking the fans.

Team news and predicted line-up

Reece Brown is set to return to the heart of Posh midfield on Saturday after recovering from a slight hamstring injury that has seen him miss the last two games against Charlton and Doncaster.

Teenage defender Ronnie Edwards is also in contention for the clash, but keeper Christy Pym remains unavailable with a muscle injury.

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

Opposition view

Lincoln City will make the short trip to the Weston Homes Stadium in excellent form as they continue to hunt Posh for the final automatic promotion spot. Sitting in third, eight points behind Posh, the Imps cannot afford anything less than three points on Saturday, and the recent run of form suggests Posh could be in for a tricky afternoon.

Michael Appleton's side returned to winning ways on Tuesday night, narrowly beating Shrewsbury Town after suffering a defeat against already-promoted Hull City the Saturday before.

Posh supporters, I would recommend looking away now because the Imps have the best away record in League One this season, picking up 13 wins in 21 games, while Posh maintain the best home record.

Speaking in a pre-match interview, Ferguson wants his players to remain focus against a good side: "Lincoln are a good team, they have a lot of energy in their side and they have been on a really good run of late. 

"The game at Sincil Bank we dominated early on, they got a goal back just after half-time and then the red card to Nathan Thompson changed the game. We know what we need to do, we are focused on that. 

"We are closer than we were to achieving what we set out to achieve on Tuesday evening."

Previous meeting

Just like any local derby - it was filled with drama. 

Posh held Lincoln City, who were League One leaders at the time, to a one-one draw despite a dominant first-half.

Ferguson's men took the lead within the opening 10 minutes when Clarke-Harris' clearance was cleared off the line, but hit the back of TJ Eyoma and ricocheted back into the net. 

However, the Imps struck back early in the second half as Anthony Scully swept home from a corner. Posh were then reduced to 10-men after a handball by Nathan Thompson, sent off for receiving his second yellow card, but Jorge Grant fired the spot-kick wide. 

Perhaps reassuringly, Posh have managed to beat Lincoln City in the previous two meetings at the Weston Homes Stadium - but they're the only two victories in nine games against the Imps. 

Last five meetings

Lincoln City 1-1 Posh - Jan 2021
Lincoln City 2-1 Posh - Jan 2020
Posh 2-0 Lincoln City - Oct 2019
Lincoln City 4-2 Posh - Jan 2018 (EFL Trophy)
Posh 4-0 Lincoln City - Mar 2008

PeterboroughMatters prediction

Ferguson would have been keen to be heading into this fixture with automatic promotion secured, but the disappointing result mid-week means added pressure for the game against Lincoln City. Posh have struggled against the Imps in the past, plus their excellent away record in League One means it will be a tough afternoon for Posh. However, one point is all that's needed and I believe Posh will do that. 

Posh 1-1 Lincoln City