Peterborough v Pompey: Pre-match talking points

Danny Rose and Oli Hawkins in action against Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny Rose and Oli Hawkins in action against Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Will Rooney looks ahead to Pompey’s trip to Peterborough tonight and assesses the pre-match talking points...

Blues must flex their muscles against rivals

If Pompey are to stand a chance of securing a play-off spot this season, their form against their rivals must improve.

Of course, consolidation has always been paramount and the Blues are acclimatising to the demands of League One well.

Kenny Jackett wants his troops to become a force in the division.

And the only way that will be achieved is if they start picking up points against the sides above and around them.

The Blues have played eight teams that currently occupy the top 12 places in the league this season.

However, they have registered just seven points from a possible 24.

There have been victories against Fleetwood and Blackpool, as well as a 1-1 draw at Wigan.

However, there have been defeats on the road to Scunthorpe, Blackburn and Oxford, as well as home losses to Rotherham and Bradford.

Peterborough will be another stern test for Pompey.

The Posh are the only side to take leaders Shrewsbury’s scalp, while they also defeated high-flying Wigan 3-2 on their own patch.

If Jackett wants the Blues to seriously flex their muscles in League One then picking up victories against their play-off rivals is crucial.

Can Pompey record a hat-trick of league wins?

Inconsistency has dogged Pompey so far this season.

However, after the lull of four successive losses, there is plenty of optimism among the Fratton faithful.

The Blues have won their past three games against Charlton, Blackpool and Southend.

In each match, they displayed the steel and resolve they have lacked at times this term.

Saturday’s win against the Shrimpers was just the second time Kenny Jackett’s troops have secured back-to-back League One victories all campaign.

With the injury room becoming close to vacant, it has bolstered competition for places and performance levels.

Pompey will be adamant they’re capable of winning three games on the bounce.

It’s a monkey on their back they badly need to get rid of.

And now there’s more of the League Two title winners in the team, they know exactly what it takes to go on a fine run of form.

Will the hitman continue to fire?

Brett Pitman’s move to Fratton Park is proving to be one of the shrewdest transfers of the summer.

His brilliant second-half header against Southend on Saturday was his 12th goal of the season.

Peterborough manager Grand McCann is wary of Pitman’s threat and has warned his defence to be on their guard.
If the Posh place the majority of their attention towards Pompey’s captain, that could easily create chances and opportunities for Pompey’s other attacking threats.

The likes of Jamal Lowe, Kal Naismith, Kyle Bennett and Matty Kennedy may be disappointed with their goalscoring tallies this season.

They’ve amassed just seven goals between them so far and will be hungry to added to their respective totals.