Former Peterborough United player could face his old club for injury-hit Stoke City, new boss in charge at relegation rivals Barnsley for the first time at Fulham
Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill believes his high-flying side will face a highly-motivated, well-organised Peterborough United team in a Championship fixture at the Britanni Stadium tomorrow (November 20, 3pm).
It looks like a home banker with fifth-placed Stoke enjoying an excellent season so far at home (five wins and one defeat from eight matches), while 21st-placed Posh have laboured badly on their travels (three points from eight matches).
But Stoke have a few injuries to overcome including powerful centre-back Harry Souttar, Northern Ireland international midfielder Jordan Thompson, attacking midfielder Sam Clucas and joint top scorer Nick Powell.
“The clubs that come up from League One have a lot to prove as teams and as individuals,” O’Neill said. “We just came through a very tough game at Blackpool and I have no doubts Peterborough will give us a stern test as well.
“They have a very experienced EFL manager in Darren Ferguson who has been in the Championship before, and they are a very well-organised side who are comfortable in different formations. They often change shape during a game which we will have to watch out for.
“We know what to expect from them and we know that if we go down a gear or two we will have difficulties. It’s not easy getting out of League One as Sunderland have proved and these promoted teams often have periods of positivity in the Championship.
“We are under no illusions as to how tough tomorrow will be.”
Former Posh loanee James Chester or ex-Wolves centre-back Danny Bath will replace Souttar. Chester played five games on loan at Posh from Manchester United in the second-half of the 2008-09 season.
Posh’s relegation rivals Barnsley will be managed for the first time by new boss Poya Asbaghi at Championship promotion favourites Fulham tomorrow.
Asbaghi (36) has replaced Markus Schopp who was sacked earlier this month. He was the manager of the Swedish Under 21 side.