Peterborough United v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

 

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head to Peterborough United this weekend with the possibility of a play off place.

The Pirates looked as if their play off chase was over after a Good Friday defeat to Gillingham but with results going their way on Easter Monday, they are still in with a chance, albeit a slim one.

Rovers will have to win though to stand any chance of getting into the top six and manager Darrell Clarke knows that although Peterborough have not much to play for, it will be a difficult match.

“It’s another tough, tough game, it’s only the arrogant people that look at teams and think we can beat them because they’re there,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“It doesn’t work like that, you have to earn the right to win every single game so we’ll have to be at our best to beat Peterborough – as we have to be to beat any team in this league.”

Clarke has a striker problem on his hands with Luke James ineligible and Rory Gaffney doubtful, so Easter Monday match winner Ellis Harrison may lead the line on his own.

Peterborough go into the match in indifferent form but manager Grant McCann knows that his side do have the possibility of a top half finish for the first time in three seasons and could match last season’s home win total of nine with a win on Saturday.

“We want to finish our home campaign with a bang. If we win tomorrow we match last season’s number of home wins as well,” McCann told the Peterborough Telegraph.

“It’s important we finish this season well to take us into next season in good spirits.

“It’s a tough game tomorrow obviously. Bristol Rovers have enjoyed an excellent season and to still be in with a chance of back-to-back promotions is a great credit to them and a manager who knows the club well.”

“He kept a lot of last season’s successful squad and he’s added quality to it. They are a tough team to beat.

“We struggled at their place earlier in the season before we managed to win with a late goal. But we have incentives tomorrow as well. We will be having a good go at them.”

McCann will have 17-year-olds Lewis Freestone and Andrea Borg will be in the Posh squad tomorrow, but on-loan midfielder Martin Samuelsen has returned to West Ham. Central defender Jack Baldwin is also available after missing the Easter programme because of illness.

Stats

Peterborough have only won two of their last 10 matches, Rovers have won four of their last six.

Peterborough came from behind to win 2-1 when these two sides met earlier in the season, Tom Nichols scoring the winning goal in added time.

Rovers have not beaten Peterborough in any of their previous five encounters.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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