Pompey v Peterborough: the lowdown on today's opponents

Marcus Maddison
Marcus Maddison
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Pompey's final fixture of the campaign at home to Peterborough is a battle for eighth place - not the finale either side were hoping for as the regular season reaches its crescendo.

A draw for the Posh will all but ensure an eighth place finish, but a win for the Blues will lift them above their opponents.

However, a defeat and Kenny Jackett's men could drop out of the top 10 altogether.

Here's all you need to know about Peterborough ahead of the clash...

The manager

There are few more combustible figures in the Football League than Posh boss Steve Evans.

The Scotsman is known for his fiery temper, but also for his ability to get teams promoted.

Evans shot to prominence at Boston United, who he led to the Football League in 2002, before doing the same with Crawley Town in 2011.

He moved to fellow League Two side Rotherham United in April 2012, but not before guiding Crawley to fourth place with five games remaining.

Caretaker boss Craig Brewster then secured a second successive promotion for the club.

Evans continued his promotion success at the Millers.

A second place finish and promotion in his first full season was followed by success in the League One play-offs the following term.

He then consolidated Rotherham in the Championship.

Evans was on the move again in 2015 - to Rotherham's Yorkshire rivals Leeds, who he helped stabilise in the division under the controversial ownership of Massimo Cellino.

The 55-year-old revealed he had wanted to be Peterborough United boss for the last 20 years when he quite Mansfield Town for London Road in February.

Evans has lived in the area for around 30 years.

One to watch

While Jack Marriott leads the division for goals scored, netting 27 - five ahead of the Brett Pitman - it is Marcus Maddison who is key to the Posh.

The 24-year-old is a creative force, capable of playing in numerous attacking positions.

In the past three seasons he has provided 50 assists in the league and is understandably attracting interest, with Nottingham Forest the latest to be linked with the player.

Posh boss Evans has called him 'a genius who needs to work a bit harder', but he has done well to recover from early setbacks in his career.

Peterborough missed his pace, his threat from distance and his vision as they lost four games to drop out of the play-off race.

Maddison tops the list for a number of metrics in the league, namely assists, crosses, through passes and key passes.

Team news

The Posh will again be without Ryan Tafazolli, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The highly-regarded central defender has been out of action since the end of March with the problem.

His usual defensive partner, ex-Newcastle United player Steven Taylor, is available, however.

Formation

Peterborough tend to favour a 4-2-3-1 formation but Evans has shown a willingness to adapt.

While they don't look to dominate possession, having less than 50 per cent of the ball on average, they are positive when they do have it.

Players are given the freedom to drive forward with the ball and dribble, plus shooting is actively encouraged.

Pompey will have to be wary of through balls, no side in the division have attempted more than Peterborough.

Previous meeting

Pompey came into the match in November on a high following the announcement that manager Kenny Jackett had extended his deal with the club.

The teams played out a pretty turgid first-half, before the home side went ahead just before the hour mark through Jack Marriott.

Minus Brett Pitman, it was a struggle for Pompey to find their way back into the game and the Posh secured a win with a second via a Kal Naismith own goal.

Conor Chaplin reduced the arrears with just over 10 minutes remaining but it was no more than a consolation.

Form

After 40 games Peterborough were sitting pretty in fifth, only to lose their next four.

Despite a win in their last outing at home to Fleetwood Town, they were out the running for the play-offs.

What the manager says

'We want to make sure we finish eighth, but most importantly we want to give our loyal fans something to enjoy,' Evans said.

'It should be a big crowd at a great old-fashioned stadium with a top atmosphere.

'Portsmouth have sold a lot of tickets and we are taking a decent following considering there now isn’t anything on the game.

'“It’s the chance for our players to thank the fans for their support in what has ultimately become a disappointing season.'

Stats

No team has bettered Peterborough's 682 shots this season.