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Peterborough United match preview

31 August 2018

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Rovers return to league action this weekend when they travel to Sky Bet League One’s early leaders Peterborough United.

Saturday’s trip to Peterborough will mark Rovers’ manager Grant McCann’s first trip back to London Road since his departure from the club earlier on this year.

Rovers will also be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday following back-to-back goalless draws at home to Shrewsbury Town and Portsmouth.

Brief history of Peterborough United

Peterborough play at the 15,314-capacity ABAX Stadium, which has been their home since 1934.

They are nicknamed the Posh, which comes from a former manager claiming that he wanted to buy ‘Posh players for a Posh team’ to compete in their new league.

The Posh are in their sixth season in League One, following their return to the third tier in 2013 after two campaigns in the Championship. Their last promotion from this division came in 2011, winning the League One play-off final at Old Trafford, defeating Huddersfield Town 3-0, with goals from current Rovers captain Tommy Rowe and manager Grant McCann helping them to seal the win.

Who’s in charge?

Steve Evans is the man in the ABAX Stadium dug-out, replacing Grant McCann as Posh boss in February this year. Evans signed a ‘long-term deal’ at London Road following just under 18 months in charge on Mansfield Town. Evans has taken charge of 18 games during his time with Peterborough, winning nine, drawing two and losing seven, leaving him with a win percentage of 50 per cent.

Ones to watch

Alex Woodyard

The midfielder was named as Posh captain following his arrival from Lincoln City over the summer. He was a part of the Imps squad that achieved promotion from the National League in 2017, as well as the famous FA Cup run of the same year, and he was a key figure in the team that won last season’s Checkatrade Trophy. Woodyard was an ever-present throughout the last campaign, playing every single game in both the regular season, and playing in the two play-off games in League Two for the Imps, before his move to the Posh.

Siriki Dembélé

The Ivorian-born forward is another of Evans’ summer signings, joining from League Two side Grimsby Town. He has started off this season brightly, scoring twice in Peterborough’s opening five games in League One, including one last weekend’s 5-1 win away at Plymouth Argyle. Siriki’s younger brother Karamoko made the headlines in October 2016 after playing for Celtic’s under-20 side at the age of just 13. The pair are eligible to play for either England, Scotland or Ivory Coast on the international stage, and should they choose to represent the latter, they would be following in the footsteps of relatives, Kolo and Yaya Toure.

Jason Cummings

The Scot is on-loan from Nottingham Forest for the season, and he has hit the ground running from the off, scoring six times in the first five league games. Cummings also got on the scoresheet in last weekend’s 5-1 drubbing over Plymouth, scoring twice against the Pilgrims, adding to his double against Luton Town, and goals against Rochdale and a last-minute winner away at Charlton Athletic. Cummings helped Hibernian to the Scottish Cup in 2016, before also winning the Scottish Championship with them the year after, and he also has two caps for the senior Scotland side.

Who’s the ref?

Darren Bond will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday, and it will be the sixth game he has officiated this season. In his previous five, he has distributed 17 yellow cards and two red cards, however this will be the first game his has taken charge of in League One this season, having officiated in both the Championship and the Carabao Cup.

Bond’s last game in charge of Rovers came in January 2018 as Rovers lost 3-1 at home to Bristol Rovers, whilst his last game in charge of Peterborough came in November 2016 as the Posh defeated Northampton Town 1-0 in League One.

Bond will be joined by assistant referees Adrian Waters and Ian Cooper, as well as fourth official Ross Joyce.

Last time out

Rovers last trip to the ABAX Stadium ended in dramatic circumstances, with Ben Whiteman scoring a 93rd-minute equaliser to snatch a point on New Year’s Day 2018. Danny Lloyd put the Posh ahead after 14 minutes, latching on to a Ryan Tafazolli knock-down, before Whiteman struck at the death, pouncing first on a poor clearance by Steven Taylor to smash home and nick a point at the end.

Rovers last win at London Road came in October 2011, as they came from behind to beat the Posh 2-1 in the Championship. Current Rovers boss McCann scored the opener for the hosts, before goals from Brian Stock and Kyle Bennett sealed the turn around for the visitors.


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