Peterborough United will host a three-way striker shootout for a a first-team place when Cambridge United visit the Weston Homes Stadium for a Leasing.com Trophy tie tonight (November 12, 7.30pm).
Ivan Toney’s suspension for the club’s next League One match at home to Burton Albion means a place alongside Mo Eisa is up for grabs for either Siriki Dembele, Idris Kanu or 17 year-old Ricky-Jade Jones.
It gives spice to a game that is utterly meaningless as far as the EFL Trophy is concerned. Posh have already won the group after wins over Northampton Town and Arsenal Under 21s and Cambridge cannot qualify.
Posh will field a young side with Jones certain to make his full debut after signing his first professional contract last week.
“It’s unusual to have a game with no pressure at all on it,” Posh manager Darren Ferguson said. “But that’s not to say there is nothing to play for and I’m expecting an aggressive and good performance from my team.
“I want the players involved against Cambridge to make my job difficult, There’s definitely one place available for the Burton game because of Ivan’s injury and we also have injuries and a couple of players who not performing as well as they would have hoped.
“It’s up to Siriki, Idris and Ricky to grab Ivan’s shirt as I will want to play with two strikers against Burton. If Ricky impresses I certainly wouldn’t be afraid to put him in. His age doesn’t matter. If he’s good enough he gets in.
“The game is irrelevant as far as the competition goes, but we are still to keen beat local rivals and I want to see the players implement what we have worked.
“They should be able to relax and express themselves and if they play at the tempo they did in the second-half against Arsenal I will be happy.
“We now haven’t won for four games which is too many. We need to start winning again now matter what competition we are playing in.”
Teenagers Harrison Burrows and Kyle Barker are also expected to start tonight.
Season ticket holders will be admitted free this evening.
The draw for the first knockout round of the EFL Trophy is scheduled for Saturday live on Sky Sports Saturday (November 16, from 2pm). Posh are guaranteed a home draw as group winners.
Posh are at home to Stevenage in an FA Cup first round replay on November 19, four days before the Burton game. Toney can play in that game.