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Derby v Posh: Match Preview

18 April 2013

Posh head to Pride Park on Saturday for a crucial npower Championship fixture (3pm).

Peterborough United head to Pride Park on Saturday afternoon (3pm) to face a Derby County side not safe from relegation to npower League One.

The Rams were rescued by a last gasp Paul Coutts goal to earn a point at Barnsley on Tuesday night, while Posh go into the clash on the back of a 10-match unbeaten run.

Darren Ferguson's men were held to a goalless draw by Brighton and Hove Albion in mid-week and go into the encounter two places outside the drop zone, but only the right side of the line due to goal difference.

Midfielder Jack Payne has been declared fit to play by Ferguson, but Michael Bostwick, Mark Little and Peter Grant are sidelined due to injury.

Derby will check on leading scorer Jamie Ward and influential midfielder Craig Bryson ahead of the game.

Ward, who has netted 12 goals this season despite missing chunks of the campaign with a troublesome hamstring problem, missed the last-gasp draw at Barnsley with an ankle injury while Bryson was also absent on Tuesday night.

Bryson was left out of the squad as back-to-back games in the space of four days would have proved too much for the 26-year-old, who continues to play through the pain of a groin complaint. Rams boss Nigel Clough will give the duo as long as possible before making a final decision on their fitness.

Teenage striker Mason Bennett impressed during the 1-1 draw at Oakwell, in what was only the 16-year-old’s third ever start in professional football, giving Clough a tough decision to make on whether to stick with the academy product or recall Conor Sammon.

Posh boss Ferguson said: 'Derby are a good side and are particularly good in front of their own fans at Pride Park. They have a young side but they play some decent football. Nigel Clough has been there quite a while now and has done a good job.

'We are in decent form and we have to look after ourselves. We know where they are strong, they have arguably one of the best midfield partnerships in the league, but we also feel we could exploit their weaknesses.'

As at 3.30pm on Thursday, Posh had sold 1,106 tickets for the game in advance. Fans are able to pay on the turnstiles at Pride Park, but there is a £3 price increase for adult tickets on the day.


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