BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Players and fans expected to rise to the occasion

Posh players celebrate a goal against Northampton in front of their biggest home gate of the season.
Posh players celebrate a goal against Northampton in front of their biggest home gate of the season.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann is confident his players - and the club’s fans - will rise to the occasion when League One leaders Sheffield United visit the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (February 11).

With ‘The Blades’ bringing 4,000 fans to the game, Posh are expecting their biggest home crowd of the season which currently stands at 9,157 for the visit of local rivals Northampton Town in October.

Posh manager Grant McCann celebrates victory at Northampton in front of another decent League One crowd.

Posh manager Grant McCann celebrates victory at Northampton in front of another decent League One crowd.

Posh won that match 3-0 which, in McCann’s eyes, proves he has big-game players in his first-team squad.

The manager is also convinced his side are ready to generate a much-needed improvement in home form.

Following last weekend’s 3-0 win at Port Vale, Posh have the third-best away record in League One behind top two Sheffield United and Scunthorpe.

But Posh have only the 16th best home record in the division, winning just five of 14 matches at the ABAX.

Posh skipper Chris Forrester is battling to be fit for the visit of Sheffield United.

Posh skipper Chris Forrester is battling to be fit for the visit of Sheffield United.

“We’ve played better at home than our record suggests,” McCann stated. “But obviously we have to start winning at the ABAX to have any chance of reaching the play-offs.

“I’m sure we will. We looked back to somewhere near our beat last weekend and I’m confident we can carry that form into Saturday’s game.

“It’s looking like a big crowd and that will help us. We’ve generally done well when we’ve played in front of decent crowds this season.

“It might well seem like an away game on Saturday anyway!

“But I’m sure our fans will rise to the occasion. We’ll need them on Saturday and we’ll need them for the rest of the season.”

Posh skipper Chris Forrester is battling to be fit after missing the game at Vale Park.

Michael Bostwick remains absent with a broken jaw, while the game will come too soon for central defender Jack Baldwin, although he has started training with the first-team squad after recovering from knee surgery.

“Chris will hopefully train today (February 9). He’s obviously a key player for us, but we proved last weekend that we can win and play well without him.

“We have to be careful. We have another game on Tuesday (home to Shrewsbury, February 14) so some players will have to be managed.”

The match is all-ticket for Posh fans.

Biggest Posh League One crowds this season:

1) 19,555 v Sheff Utd (away) lost 0-1.

2) 10,621 v MK Dons (away) won 2-0.

3) 10,193 v Charlton (away) won 2-0.

4) 9,839 v Bristol Rovers (away) won 2-1.

5) 9,157 v Northampton (home) won 3-0.

6) 7,675 v Northampton (away) won 1-0.

7) 7,500 v Oxford (away) lost 1-2.

8) 7,224 v Oldham (away) lost 0-2.