SCOUT'S REPORT: PETERBOROUGH UTD
Club News29th March
With the international break done and dusted, Cardiff City return to action with a trip to London Road, Peterborough on Saturday (3.00pm).
The league leaders travel to face a team in the midst of a relegation battle. The Posh currently lie in twenty-second position in the league, only a single point away from twenty-first position and safety. Relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley face each other this weekend, meaning if Darren Ferguson’s men get a positive result on Saturday they could see themselves out of the drop zone come tea-time.
Despite their low position in the table, United have hit a good run of form of late. They are currently unbeaten in their last five games, picking up wins on the road at Blackburn and Blackpool and also gaining impressive draws away against the likes of Leeds United.
Peterborough have had no problem in front of goal this season either. They are the sixth highest scorers in the league with fifty-five goals, putting them on par with high flyers Hull City. But even with their impressive goal count, their defensive frailties have meant they still have a goal difference of minus nine.
Key Players:Dwight Gayle is Peterborough’s top scorer this term with eleven league goals. Lee Tomlin, who has also got eight goals himself, could accompany him on Saturday.
Captain of Peterborough United is talismanic defender Gabriel Zakuani. The Democratic Republic of Congo international and fellow defender Mark Little could be key if Posh are to keep City’s attacking threat at bay. Their last line of defence is goalkeeper Robert Olejnik. He has featured in every game this season.
Saturday could also see the debut of Florent Cuvelier. The Belgian U21 international has just joined on loan from Stoke City and could be thrown straight into the Peterborough midfield.
Previous Meetings: The two teams did not meet until 1954. Cardiff won an FA Cup tie that day 3-1 and they did not meet in the league until 1975. With the teams meeting for the first time relatively late, there have only been twenty-seven meetings between City and United.
Peterborough have by far the most impressive record, winning fifteen games compared to Cardiff’s six. Six games have ended all square. Cardiff have not won in their last eleven trips to London Road in a run that stretches back to 1986, but City will be looking to buck the trends against a team who have scored ten goals in their last three games against Cardiff at home.
Last Meeting: Cardiff City 1 – 2 Peterborough United (15/12/2013)
Peterborough’s victory at Cardiff City Stadium ended Malky’s men’s unbeaten home record and also moved the Posh off the foot of the table.
David Bostwick opened the scoring after twenty-two minutes with a thunderbolt of a free kick that gave David Marshall no chance in saving it. United surprisingly doubled the lead just after half time, when Gayle scored after an impressive counter-attacking move from the visitors. Rudy Gestede did get a late consolation goal a minute from time, but it was too little too late for City as they dropped their first home points of the campaign.
Cardiff City Line-up: Marshall, McNaughton (Gunnarsson), Taylor, Turner, Connolly, Whittingham, Cowie (Mutch), Conway (Gestede), Noone, Helguson, Bellamy. Subs not used: Lewis, Kim, Lappin, Mason.
Peterborough United Line-up: Olejnik, Zakuani, Little, Bostwick, Rowe (Brisley), Newell (Ferdinand), Knight-Percival (Alcock), Thorne, Tomlin, Boyd, Gayle. Subs not used: Day, Swanson, McCann, Gordon-Hutton.