Posh have not been great at Easter either, the need to improve against top six opponents, outsider of three in a thrilling promotion race, past matches, red card referee is back
The annual Posh struggles in Christmas fixtures are well documented, but the club not been that great over Easter either!
Since returning to League One for the start of the 2013-14 season Posh have won three, drawn five and lost three of 11 games over this holiday period.
No Easter matches took place last season, but in the 2018-19 campaign, Posh tackled the same two Easter games as they face this season with a Good Friday trip to Fleetwood followed by a home game with Sunderland on Easter Monday.
Both of those matches finished 1-1.
PAST MATCHES & REFEREES
Posh have only won one of six League One visits to Fleetwood when Jack Marriott and Danny Lloyd both scored in the final three minutes of the League One match in December, 2017 to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win. Michael Doughty scored the first Posh goal that day.
Posh, who were without main man Ivan Toney, lost 2-1 at Fleetwood last season despite a superb goal from Dan Butler.
Posh have won two and lost one of four Football League games against Sunderland at London Road.
It was 3-0 to Posh last season thanks to two goals from Marcus Maddison and one from Josh Knight. Sunderland lost two players - Charlie Wyke and Luke O’Nien - to red cards when 3-0 behind and the same referee, Craig Hicks, is in charge of Monday’s game.
Benjamin Speedie is the referee for Fleetwood v Posh. He was less than impressive as Posh won 2-1 at Oxford in the first round of the FA Cup back in November.
Posh look to have the toughest set of remaining fixtures of all the promotion contenders.
And they will need to improve their record against the top teams if they are to claim a top two spot.
Posh have won just two (at Hull, home to Pompey) of eight matches against the current top six. They’ve lost five of them. Posh have Sunderland and Lincoln of the current top six still to play (both at home), but they also have games against Doncaster (twice) and Charlton to come and they could well be in a play-off place when the matches take place.
League One leaders Hull will hope to make ground on Posh and Sunderland over Easter as they have matches at mid-table Crewe and at home to struggling Northampton.
Sunderland have an awkward home match against Oxford on Friday before they visit Posh on Monday. The Black Cats also have a run of three away games in a row in April, including a midweek trip to Hull (April 20th).
If any team is likely to challenge the current top three for automatic promotion it’s Portsmouth who have no-one in the top half of the League One table still to play apart from MK Dons (12th). Pompey tackle bottom club Rochdale (home) and relegation favourites Wigan (away) over Easter.
Fleetwood are sweating on the fitness of top scorer Callum Camps ahead of tomorrow’s game
Camps, who turned down a move to Posh a couple of seasons ago, has scored 11 goals from midfield since moving to Fleetwood from Rochdale last summer. He’s missed recent matches because of a hamstring issue.
Veteran defender Charlie Mulgrew, a Scottish international has been ruled out for the season because of injury.
Fleetwood sold prolific marksman Paddy Madden to National League Stockport County last month.
Sunderland have stormed up the League One table despite suffering a raft of defensive injuries.
The Black Cats are expected to have exciting forward Jordan Jones back in the matchday squad for the Easter matches.
Jones is on loan from Scottish champions Rangers.
Charlie Wyke and Aiden McGeady are the standout threats for Sunderland. Wyke has 22 League One goals this season while McGeady has 12 assists - the same as Posh star Joe Ward - from just 21 appearances.
NEW & IMPROVED MANAGERS
Five wins and four draws in 12 matches was enough for experienced boss Simon Grayson to be handed the manager’s job at Fleetwood on a permament basis following the January departure of outspoken boss Joey Barton.
Grayson has won four promotions from League One in his career.
Lee Johnson has yet to win a promotion, but his appointment as Sunderland boss in place of Phil Parkinson was key to the Wearsiders’ charge up the table. Sunderland were ninth when Johnson took over, but are now third with the games in hand to go top.
It’s a three horse race for the League One title according to Sky Bet.
Posh are still the outsiders of the three at 15/8. Third-placed Sunderland are the new favourites at 13/8 with current leaders Hull, who have played more games than their rivals, at 7/4.
Next best are Blackpool and Lincoln at 50/1!
Posh are odds on at 4/11 to be promoted, the same as Sunderland with Hull priced up at 2/7. Lincoln (10/3) are next in the list.