Leicester go in search of vital back-to-back wins when they travel to London Road on Saturday to face relegated Peterborough.
Manager Nigel Pearson will see the match as an ideal time to strengthen his side’s grip on their current play-off position, with Blackpool facing a tough test at promoted Newcastle on the same day.
Posh’s League One-bound status was confirmed on Monday with their 2-2 draw with Barnsley, former-Fox Iain Hume netting a late equaliser for the Tykes to seal Peterborough’s fate.
The match will see Gary Johnson take charge of his first United match after replacing Jim Gannon earlier in the week on a full-time basis.
With the pressure now removed from the shoulders of his players, Johnson can take a closer look at his new side without the weight of expectations on his own.
But standing in the way of a good start for the new man are a Leicester side hunting hard for a play-off position. Monday’s relieving 4-0 victory over QPR has done much to settle the nerves after a dismal run of form, the result proving particularly important given other results on the day.
City will head into the game confident after the midweek performance, also knowing they are up against a side who have lost five of their last six matches and sit rooted to the foot of the league.
However, Leicester did not have it their own way when the two sides met in a crucial clash at London Road last year. Charlie Lee and Chris Whelpdale’s strikes handed Posh a comfortable 2-0 victory on the day in dreadful weather conditions.
Peterborough manager Gary Johnson: “I have enjoyed success against them this season, but Nigel Pearson has a deep squad full of quality players so it will be a tough test for us. But my players look to have taken on board what I want and we are all looking forward to getting started.”
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: “I am sure it will be a game people look at and say that it’s a potential banana skin.”
“Circumstances have changed there; they have a new manager, no pressure, so it sets it up to be a difficult game, which we knew anyway.”
Peterborough United Team News:
Peterborough should welcome back Joe Lewis, Charlie Lee and Craig Morgan into the first team.
But their injury list remains extensive however, with Aaron Maclean, Izale Macleod, Liam Dickinson, Chris Whelpdale and Mark Little all definitely out.
Meanwhile Gabriel Zakuani and Danny Mills are also bouth doubtful for the tie.
Player to watch: Craig Mackail-Smith
Leicester failed in their bid to lure Mackail-Smith on loan in January, the striker since forcing his way back into first team plans at London Road.
The 25-year-old put in a sterling performance in the same fixture last season, tearing apart Leicester’s backline in a man of the match performance.
Leicester City Team News:
Jay Spearing will hope to keep his place in the centre of midfield after a decent outing in the week, with captain Matt Oakley pushing hard for a first-team start.
Alex Bruce has been ruled out once again, meaning Wayne Brown should continue to partner Jack Hobbs at the heart of defence.
Player to watch: Martyn Waghorn
Anybody who saw his second goal against QPR on Monday should know why.
The striker has been something of a revelation since joining on loan from Sunderland last August, stepping into the shoes of Matty Fryatt magnificently in his absence.
Match Facts & Stats
– Posh have claimed six of their seven wins at home this season.
– They have scored only 43 in 42 matches though so far, the third lowest total in the division.
– One of their only eight away points was claimed at the Walkers Stadium earlier in the season, however.
– Leicester still have only nine different goal-scorers to their name this season, the lowest number in the divison.
– But their defensive record reads particularly well, the 43 goals conceded all season being the fourth best total in the league.
I think we should walk away with the points from this one. Peterborough 0-2 Leicester.
Saturday 17th April
Peterborough: Reading (A)
Leicester: Watford (H)