Peterborough United manager Steve Evans is predicting a high-class thriller at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (September 15) when Portsmouth are the visitors in a battle between the top two in the League One table.
Two unbeaten teams clash head on in the Football League’s ‘match of the day’ and Evans can see the fixture fulfilling all the hype.
He expects both teams to be battling it out for promotion in May, regardless of what happens on Saturday.
“This match won’t decide anything,” Evans said. “But it will put a marker down for the rest of the season.
“My lads can’t wait to step on the pitch in front of a big, passionate crowd to take on one of the biggest clubs in the division.
“Only Sunderland are bigger and I am thrilled that Peterborough United are ranked alongside such clubs in the battle for promotion.
“At the start of the season I looked at Sunderland, Portsmouth and Barnsley and couldn’t see how any of them could fail to chellenge.
“They are big clubs, they have the biggest support and they all have all assembled top squads.
“But if we are to achieve our aim of promotion we will have to finish above a couple of them and we are capable.
“We can prove that on Saturday in what should be a great advert for League One.
“Kenny Jackett is a top manager who will have his team well organised. They play in a formation that suits their players. They have three lively forward players and they have pace and strength all over the park.
“But they will be wary of us as well. We are scoring goals and winning games. We are playing well, but we can play even better. For a team put together pretty much from scratch in the summer we have done remarkably well, but we won’t be taking anything for granted at any stage this season.”
Evans could well revert to the line-up that started the first six League One matches of the season. He replaced Joe Ward with on-loan Jamie Walker at Southend last Saturday. but the latter was outstanding when he was sent on as a substitute late in the day.
The likes of striker Ivan Toney, winger Marcus Maddison and midfielder George Cooper strengthened their claims for a call-up with excellent displays in a behind-closed doors friendly against Oxford Under 23s on Monday.
Evans has no injury concerns as midfielder Callum Cooke has recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the Southend game.