League One Gameweek 13: High-Quality Clash At Peterborough6 min read
With just one of the six teams above them in action, Peterborough United have an opportunity to further their promotion credentials this weekend in League One Gameweek 13.
Lincoln City, fresh from last week’s deserved first victory under Michael Appleton, will be challenging opponents.
Peterborough’s promotion push
Peterborough United look among the promotion contenders in League One and a key factor behind their impressive form is their deadly attacking trio.
The swagger of Marcus Maddison, the skill of Mo Eisa and the athleticism of Ivan Toney makes for arguably the division’s most incisive attacking combination.
Maddison has been arguably the most naturally gifted player in this division for five years and, in Darren Ferguson’s third spell in charge of the Posh, he seems to be finding a bit more consistency than he perhaps did under previous managers
It is rare that a third-tier player has Maddison’s dribbling ability combined with such a sweet left foot, as the one-time Newcastle academy graduate has used to devastating effect five times this season, including that delightful strike in the 4-0 win at MK Dons.
Eisa, meanwhile, is joining a long list of great Peterborough strikers who started their careers in non-league.
In the 25-year-old’s case, he starred at Greenwich Borough before scoring 23 goals in League Two for Cheltenham and, although Eisa struggled for opportunities at Bristol City, he looks set for a stellar season in League One.
Ivan Toney, meanwhile, loves to use his physicality to pressurize defences and his willingness to lead the press is key to Posh’s attacking output; think of his persistent closing down of the opposing goalkeeper and defenders in the 6-0 victory over Rochdale.
That September sextet of strikes means Ferguson’s troops have scored 26 League One goals already this season – more than any other team in the division.
Appleton off the mark
Michael Appleton got his first win in charge of Lincoln City last time out, beating Sunderland 2-0.
It is such an exciting time for the Imps, because Danny and Nicky Cowley did outstanding work to oversee huge progress with two titles in three years.
Because the Cowley brothers have at times been selfless in prioritizing the infrastructure of the club over short-term acquisitions, Appleton has inherited a wonderful template.
Because the style – which was very direct up until the 2017-18 campaign – evolved towards the tail-end of the Cowley regime, Appleton is not working from scratch; he already has a group on which he can impose his ideas very quickly.
The most striking thing about the victory over the Black Cats was the understanding between the players, especially out wide, which is unusual so early on in a managerial regime.
The combination play between Bruno Andrade and Neal Eardley, who played a delightful dinked pass for Tyler Walker’s opener, was strong.
We then saw even slicker combination play between left-sided technician Jorge Grant and marauding left-back Harry Toffolo for a chance that Walker was unable to convert.
In the middle, meanwhile, Jack Payne is bringing a new level of vision to Lincoln’s midfield, as we saw with his delightful, inch-perfect pass that led to Bruno Andrade winning a penalty that Walker was unable to convert, although the striker turned home the winger’s cross from close-range shortly afterwards.
The Tactics Board
This is a hugely exciting contest.
On the one hand, there is a Peterborough team that are so deadly, they look like scoring every time they go forward.
On the other, we have a Lincoln outfit playing some of the best football in the division.
It is very difficult to predict which team will come out on top, but the only thing we can predict with relative certainty is that there will be a lot of quality in the game – possibly more in this than in any other match in the division.
The Betting Angle
Given that Posh have only won one of their last four matches due to giving away two-goal leads at Tranmere and Wycombe, some might argue the visitors are under-priced via the 5/6 on Double Chance: Draw or Lincoln.
Peterborough though have won their last three home games by scoring a combined 12 goals, so it may be foolhardy to oppose them at the Weston Homes Stadium (London Road).
Instead, we’ll acknowledge the home side’s goal threat but also show faith in that of Lincoln and back Both Teams To Score at 8/13.
Both Teams To Score