Posh host Phil Brown's Southend United at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Peterborough United entertain Southend United at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (3pm) in Sky Bet League One action looking to continue their 100% record in 2016.
Wins at Sheffield United and over Preston North End in the Emirates FA Cup third round have provided a perfect start to the new year and boss Graham Westley is looking for his side to continue their recent form against a Shrimpers side that have lost their last three.
“Southend are a team I know very well,” Westley stated. “They knocked my Stevenage side out of the League Two play-offs last season and beat us in the league on their pitch. They were a very good side then and they’ve done very well this season. It doesn’t surprise me as they have good players and a good manager.
“And although they’ve had some poor results lately, there is no way we will under-estimate them. Just because we won at Sheffield United in our last league game, and then got the better of Preston last week, doesn’t mean that we just have to turn up to beat Southend.
“Football doesn’t work like that very often. It has a habit of kicking you when you least expect it. Phil Brown (Southend boss) is a very experienced manager and he got stuck into his players after their defeat last week for a reason. But the facts remain that if we play to our best, we will win the game," Westley said.
The Posh boss could welcome back Jon Taylor and Michael Bostwick from the treatment room for the fixture. Taylor has had a painkilling injection this week after missing the win over Preston, while Bostwick has had a muscle strain that has kept him sidelines for two weeks. However, Westley has issued a word of caution on the pair. "We won't take any risks. We don't need to rush them back."
Kgosi Ntlhe is back in training after a long lay-off, but Jermaine Anderson, Gabriel Zakuani and Joe Gormley are longer term absentees.
Southend left-back Ben Coker will have an operation on a lower abdomen tear and will be out of action for about a month. Boss Brown is hopeful of securing a replacement ahead of the game with one-time Burton loanee Jermome Binnom-Burton the expected arrival.
Southend will include former Posh striker Tyrone Barnett in their squad. Barnett scored against Posh prior to Christmas for Shrewsbury Town as a second half substitute and will come up against his former employees once more after joining the Shrimpers.
Phil Brown's men beat Posh 2-1 at Roots Hall earlier in the campaign in what proved to be Dave Robertson's final game in charge of the club. Marcus Maddison scored the Posh goal in a game that was televised live on Sky Sports.
Southend have sold close to 900 tickets in advance for the game so a decent crowd is expected at the ABAX. You can purchase tickets at www.theposhtickets.com, via the Ticketmaster hotline 0844 847 1934* or in person at the ABAX Stadium Box Office.
*Calls cost 7ppm plus your network access fee