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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Peterborough United vs Rovers

27 April 2021

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Rovers are looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to face Peterborough United on Tuesday night.

Andy Butler’s side were narrowly beaten by Fleetwood Town in their last league outing. 

 

Peterborough’s recent form 

Posh have lost just one of their past six league games stretching back to a 1-0 win at Fleetwood Town on April 2. They finished the easter weekend with a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland, before a comfortable 3-0 victory at Swindon Town five days later. 

They kept up their promotion charge with a 3-1 win against Northampton Town, before their only defeat of late came against Gillingham. They got back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at play-off chasing Charlton Athletic last time out, leaving them on the verge of promotion to the second tier. 

 

The man in charge 

Former Rovers boss Darren Ferguson returned for a third spell as Peterborough United manager in January 2019, replacing Steve Evans in the role. In his first period in charge, Ferguson guided the club to back-to-back promotions, before leaving the club in November 2009 when they were in the Sky Bet Championship. 

He returned to London Road in January 2011 after a short spell at Preston North End, and wasted no time in adding another promotion to his CV with a play-off victory over Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford. The Posh had two seasons back in the second tier before relegation back to Sky Bet League One. Ferguson left in February 2015 and joined Rovers eight months later. He couldn’t prevent the club from being relegated in his first season, but did win promotion back to the third tier a year later. He helped the club consolidate themselves before leaving at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. 

 

Ones to watch 

Siriki Dembele 

After making a name for himself in the EFL at Grimsby Town, Dembele joined Peterborough in the summer of 2018 for an undisclosed fee. A lively winger, the 24-year-old scored seven goals in his first season at London Road, and backed that up with six last time around. 

He has stepped up to the mark this season and played a key role in the club pushing for automatic promotion, scoring 12 goals in 44 appearances to make himself an integral part of the attacking setup.  

 

Sammie Szmodics 

A product of the Colchester United Academy, Szmodics played more than 160 times for his hometown club before signing for Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City on a free transfer in the summer of 2019. He made just four appearances for the Robins though before joining Peterborough on loan in January 2020, but for the season to be cut short due to Covid-19. He made an impact in that time though, scoring four goals in 10 league games, which persuaded Posh to make the move permanent in September. 

He has proved to be a brilliant signing for Darren Ferguson’s side, scoring 15 goals in 44 appearances so far this season. 

 

Jonson Clarke-Harris 

After spending time with Coventry City and Peterborough as a youngster, Clarke-Harris signed for Oldham Athletic in 2013 and impressed enough in his sole season at Boundary Park to earn a move to Rotherham United. The striker spent time on loan with MK Dons, Rovers and Coventry during his time at the New York Stadium, before returning to Coventry on a permanent deal in 2018. Once again though his stay with the Sky Blues was short lived, as he signed for Bristol Rovers six months later. 

He seemed to find a home at the Memorial Ground, and scored 24 league goals in 38 appearances, which persuaded Peterborough to spend a significant seven-figure sum on him last summer to replace the outgoing Ivan Toney. Clarke-Harris has proved to be worth every penny, with 31 goals to his name in all competitions, he has played a crucial role in helping Posh close in on automatic promotion. 

 

Last time out 

Rovers beat Peterborough 3-0 at London Road when the two sides last met on Boxing Day 2019. Two goals from Kieran Sadlier against his former club and a late strike from Ben Whiteman sealed all three points. 

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