Peterborough v Pompey Preview

By Sam Stone

Pompey make the trip to Peterborough this weekend, in what is a crucial clash in the tight promotion race. Kenny Jackett’s men are coming off a commendable performance against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

The Blues rested plenty of key players in the 2-0 defeat to the Gunners. Ronan Curtis, Tom Naylor, Sean Raggett and John Marquis all started on the subs bench ahead of this weekend’s trip to Posh, with Curtis and Marquis making late appearances.

The squad depth that Pompey have could potentially show its importance, where in previous seasons, the lack of depth has been the Blues downfall.

For me, Saturday is make or break regarding automatic promotion. The top eight sides seem to be consistently winning and at this point most games are must win, especially against a promotion rival.

A win would heap more pressure on Rotherham, with Pompey having a game in hand on Paul Warne’s men. Performances in recent weeks haven’t been as crisp as they were at the start of 2020, but they are still grinding out results, especially at home.

Away from home has been a problem area, with two defeats in our two previous away games, albeit to in-form Fleetwood and table-toppers Coventry.

There has been in issue creating clear-cut chances away from home and when Pompey fall behind they very rarely turn the game around.

Unfortunately for Pompey, they will have to find a consistent way of winning on the road if they want to maintain an automatic challenge. Relying on their imperious home form will not be enough in this tight promotion battle.

Looking at the game on Saturday, for me Peterborough boast the most attacking talent in the division. Dembele, Eisa, Toney and Szmodics would get into most sides at this level.

Pompey will have to build from a solid defensive foundation if they want to get the win they so badly need. Jack Whatmough is set to make his first League start of the season, replacing the suspended Christian Burgess, who has been immense so far this season.

However, Whatmough kept Burgess out of the side for the majority of last season before his untimely injury and is a capable centre-half.

The academy graduate is comfortable in possession, composed on the ball and has unflappable decision-making. This is a good example of how Pompey’s squad depth could really benefit them.

If Whatmough stays fit and continues from where he left off, he would be our go-to CB.

Pompey will also have a fit and rested Ronan Curtis along with captain Tom Naylor to come back into the starting eleven. Curtis tormented Posh last year and will be crucial if Pompey want to get a win this time round.

I feel that the two sides could potentially cancel each other out for large parts of the game, with Peterborough putting Pompey under pressure but Pompey remaining defensively strong.

Personally, I believe Pompey have more than enough to hurt Posh going forward and I haven’t been overall convinced by Peterborough’s defence.

Given that they have had two disappointing results in their last two in games, I feel there is an opportunity for Pompey to put more pressure on Posh.

I think Pompey will edge a very tight and cagey affair 1-0, with Ronan Curtis getting the all-important goal in the first half.

Photo: Losing My Sight UK

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