Tim Stoodley looks ahead to Tuesday night's trip to Oldham Athletic.
Peterborough United head North again as they attempt to do battle with Oldham Athletic in a rescheduled Sky Bet League One tie on Tuesday night (7.45pm). The first attempt at these sides doing combat was beaten by the weather, with a late postponement. This game is unusual in the fact that both home and away fans can watch the action for free!
The Latics have had a tough time of it this term and head into this one just one place and one point from the foot of the table. A relegation scrap is very much on their hands and they'll be hoping for a quick about turn in form, as they've only been able to notch four points in their last seven outings. Perhaps more worryingly for the Boundary Park faithful, is that they've also scored just once in the period. That's just one goal in over 630 minutes of football! They did manage a decent 1-0 shutout against Gillingham in their last home game though and do have a new coach in the shape of John Sheridan. His instant impact in that game will be something to give the Latics hope.
John Sheridan is an all too familiar face for Posh fans and his opposite number, Grant McCann. Sheridan was in charge of Notts County for the two games Peterborough played in the second round of this year's FA Cup. It does give us some insight into how Oldham are likely to play. Sheridan likes his build-up play to be patient and disciplined, so expect The Latics to be tough to break down. In his two games in charge thus far, he's opted for a 3-5-2 in the home win against Gillingham, and a traditional 4-4-2 away to Shrewsbury. A game they lost 1-0. This makes this difficult to know what side he's going to pitch against Peterborough, but you'd expect a counter-attacking style of play against The Posh. Interestingly, this is Sheridan's fifth spell in charge of Oldham as a manager, a club he clearly holds dear to his heart and he'll be hoping his passion for the club will transfer to his players as they battle to stay in the league.
Personnel wise and it's difficult to see where the main threat arrives from Oldham. The fact two of their three joint top scorers are defenders, probably shows the lack of real attacking threat. Scotsman Lee Erwin is probably the one attacker to catch the eye. The 22 year-old is on loan from Championship side Leeds and is the third of the clubs joint top-scorers.
Ryan Flynn is another Scotsman who will be looking to do Peterborough some damage. He's a former Liverpool production and likes to dominate his side of the pitch. He's a tricky winger, happy to cut in to a weaker foot, with a decent final ball. Unfortunately for him the end product has been disappointing this campaign though.
At the back and new-signing Anthony Gerrard is back at the club. He's recently signed on a free and his experience could prove useful for Sheridan's side. He's a name familiar in the lower leagues and takes no-nonsense in the heart of the defence. He's also pretty handy at popping up for a goal too - in fact he once scored an impressive five goals in one season for Hull back in 2010. That made him the third highest scorer for the team that campaign.
Personnel wise for The Posh and it remains Harry Anderson, Jack Baldwin and Jermaine Anderson who miss out through injury. Jack Baldwin is recovering well and will hopefully be back in the squad soon. Dominic Ball made his debut on Saturday and will be hoping he retains his place after impressing in that game. With this being the fifth away game on the bounce for 'Boro and with a derby game against MK on Saturday, it's possible McCann may rotate to use his squad here.
Rob Lewis takes charge of this one. He's a very experienced referee who started out as a Premiership linesman. He missed the first part of the campaign through injury so has officiated just nine games in the 2016/17 season. He averages 2.5 cautions per game - one of the lowest in the league, and has shown red just twice. Both of those came just a week ago as Southend did battle with Rochdale. Mr Lewis took charge of Peterborough twice last season, firstly in the 2-0 home win against Crawley Town in the League cup, and then the 2-0 defeat away to Blackpool in December. Ben Alnwick, Ricardo Almeida Santos and Chris Forrester all saw yellow in that one.
Peterborough's trip to Boundary Park last campaign was a joyful one as Posh romped to a 5-1 victory. Two goals for Souleyman Coulibaly, as well as a brace for Lee Angol and single for Erhun Oztumer was the difference. Although only Angol remains out of that trio, the ease at which Peterborough found victory that day, would be very welcome right now, as Posh push for a promotion chase. Overall Posh do have the better of Oldham, albeit only slightly. The pair have met 38 times, with Posh being victorious on 14 occasions and The Latics 12. Interestingly all the meetings between the duo have come in the league, with the sides never doing battle in a cup competition.
As aforementioned tickets to this game are completely free, with just a donation requested to the clubs chosen charity partner, Madlho Youth Zone. This means The Latics are expecting a bumper crowd which should boost the atmosphere - they've not had much to cheer lately so they'll be hoping this gesture improves morale. Posh fans that do travel will find a decent, relatively modern stadium. Away fans are housed in the ZenOffice Stand, which sits behind one of the goals, and allows up to 1,600 away supporters. The nearest train station is a staggering two miles away, so fans are best placed to use the nearest metrolink, which is Westwood station. This is a 15-20 minute walk and serves Manchester Victoria train station.
For fans travelling by car, be aware that there is permit parking only at the ground and the surrounding streets, but match day parking can be found for just £3 at the nearby Oldham Royal Hospital - which is on Westhulme Avenue.
There are two pubs close-by to Boundary Park, and both accept away fans. Clayton Green, which is a Brewers Fayre outlet and is just two hundred yards from the ground, is an obvious choice. The Greyhound Pub is another local which has great reviews from travelling fans. This can be found across Broadway, down Holden Fold Lane.
In the ground and a nice northern pie will set you back £3, which is below the leagues average, but prepare to be 'milked' for your tea, which costs £2 a cup - 15p more expensive than the standard for League One.
The key figures:
League positions; Oldham Athletic - 23rd Peterborough United - 8th
Last five; Oldham Athletic - LDLWL Peterborough United - DDLLW
Previous meeting; 23/02/2016 (Sky Bet League One) - Peterborough United 1-2 Oldham Athletic
Average attendances (2015/16); Oldham Athletic - 4,551 Peterborough United - 5,447
Top Scorer (league); Oldham Athletic - Josh Law, Peter Clarke & Lee Erwin (2) Peterborough United - Gwion Edwards & Tom Nichols (7)
Interesting fact: Oldham have a number of famous supporters, notably; comedy duo Cannon & Ball, former Manchester United star Paul Scholes, Professor Brian Cox, comedian Eric Sykes and glamour model Michelle Marsh.
Anyone who had purchased a ticket for the original tie between these two is entitled to a full refund, now that The Latics have offered up free entry. To get a refund simply email email@example.com for information. Those that do attend on Tuesday, have the option to make their charitable donation at the turnstiles before and after the game.