Tim Stoodley previews Saturday's meeting with Chesterfield at the ABAX Stadium.
Glamorous cup antics and potential Premiership away days will be on the backburner as Posh prepare to square up to strugglers Chesterfield in a return to league action this Saturday at the ABAX Stadium (3pm).
Chesterfield are currently in the relegation zone of League One and will themselves be looking to recover from a frustrating day of cup action last time out. They were thumped 5-0 at home by lower-league side Wycombe Wanderers, but prior to that blip were on a back-to-back run of league wins, only their second such run this season. They also secured an EFL Trophy success in midweek at Rochdale.
Posh will take them lightly at their peril; street-wise, physical and well-organised, on their day they can give anybody a game. They set out in a traditional 4-4-2, although injuries have recently seen them play more of a 3-5-1-1, with big-name Ched Evans leading the line. They favour a counter-attacking style of play and with skilful midfielder, Jay O'Shea, behind the front man, they have to be watched on the break.
Gboly Ariyibi is another player for Poshies to watch, a player who attracted interest from several larger clubs in the summer, although in fairness he hasn't quite reached the potential that the Spireites fans might have liked. Ricky German is one more up-and-coming - just 17-years old he is one for the future and although he has yet to score a senior goal, he had an impressive record in the youth and reserve teams and doesn't seem overruled by the step-up in class.
This match-up will be Wigan-born boss Danny Wilson's 50th game at the club - he currently has a win rate of 33%. Grant McCanns' is 42%.
McCann will have good memories of playing Chesterfield, as will many Posh fans, with Posh's most recent silverware coming at the Spireites expense. That was a 3-1 Wembley win back in March of 2014 when Posh secured the now rebranded Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
In more recent memory and Posh also host the better record; in the competitive games played since that Wembley day-out, Posh and Chesterfield have done battle four times, with Posh winning three with an aggregate score of 6-3. In total these two sides have matched-up 48 times, but Chesterfield actually host the better record having won 19 to Peterborough's 16. The most recent game was a 1-0 shutout for Posh at Chesterfield, a game which saw both Michael Smith and Ricardo Santos given their marching orders. Tom Nichols with the lone goal in that one. That game coming back in February of this year.
In terms of team news for Posh, they have to start a second spell without influential centre-back Jack Baldwin, who is suffering from a reoccurrence of his knee injury, while McCann also has his options limited up front, with Lee Angol serving a suspension following his dismissal on Sunday. Jermaine Anderson is the other long-term absentee, while Bradden Inman might feature as he continues his injury rehabilitation.
The key figures:
League positions; Peterborough United - 6th Chesterfield - 22nd
Last five; Peterborough United - WWWLD Chesterfield - LLWWL
Previous meeting; 06/02/2016 (League One) - Chesterfield 0-1 Peterborough United
Average attendances (2015/16); Peterborough United - 5,447 Chesterfield - 6,676
Top Scorer; Peterborough United - Marcus Maddison, Gwion Edwards & Tom Nichols (6) Chesterfield - Jay O'Shea (7)
Interesting fact: Chesterfield get their nickname from a world famous landmark, the Crooked Spire, that rises to a height of 70m (228‘) above the ground and leans 2.89m (9′ 6”) to the south-west. The spiral twist at the base is about 45° from west to east.
Tickets are cheaper in advance and are on sale at www.theposhtickets.com, via the Ticketmaster hotline 0844 847 1934* and in person at the ABAX Stadium Box Office.
*calls cost 7ppm plus your network access fee.