Morecambe travel to the Weston Home Stadium on their first away game of the season. The Shrimps have an unbeaten record against the Posh, however, this only includes one win and one draw. This preview will look to give Morecambe fans a better understanding of the Peterborough United side and its ambitions for the upcoming season.
The relegation that Peterborough sustained last campaign means they face League One for another season. A drab 37 points left them in 22nd place as they faced the drop alongside Reading, Barnsley and Derby County. The points total they achieved and company they came down with is a fair viewing of the season. Poor performances, no standout players and a lack of leadership that plagued the side from the very first day, Peterborough never truly looked like a Sky Bet Championship side. Despite this, the Posh managed several impressive results including a double over QPR and a 2-1 home win against Millwall.
The Peterborough Setup
Grant McCann lined up in a 4-3-3 against Cheltenham Town on the opening day of the season as they came from behind to win 3-2. This was one of the two systems that the Northern Irish manager had implemented in his side during preseason that found success. The ranging versatility of the squad will in doubt prove helpful should McCann want to switch systems. With Peterborough being one of the heavy favourites to achieve a play-off spot as a minimum, it is no surprise that the Cambridgeshire side look to play with intensity as they dominate possession and create chances. This was proven last Saturday as they outplayed and outscored a very solid Cheltenham side.
Having just been relegated, Peterborough United have done well to retain the services of the core squad last season. This experience will in doubt help them as they push for a promotion straight back to the second division. Although, this is in no way a guarantee. The 22/23 season has the potential to be the most competitive league one season on record. With as many as 10 teams (and possibly more) with a chance of attaining a play-off spot, Grant McCann and his team will face stiff opposition in their bid to return straight away. On top of this, the league itself is known for being a sticky wicket for relegated teams; a point which Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland fans are all too aware of.
Ones to Watch
Given the lack of games between the two sides, it is hard to gauge the ability of Peterborough United as they have not been on Shrimps fans’ radar at all. Therefore, this segment will look to highlight the players to keep an eye out for during Saturday’s fixture.
Jonson Clarke-Harris- The Leicester born forward has proved himself to be a crucial figure for the Posh in the past few seasons. Scoring 31 goals as they were promoted in 20/21, Clarke-Harris continued his form in a less consistent manner in the Championship. He still finished the season as Peterborough’s highest scorer and will look to put his experience at 9 different EFL clubs to use as they look to achieve an immediate return to the second division. JCH, as he is known as by Peterborough fans, has recently been announced as the club’s captain and will be looking to lead the line for his club in many ways.
Jack Taylor- The creative midfielder joined Peterborough United from Barnet back in 2020 for a fee around £500k. Since then, Taylor has become a pivotal figure over the last two seasons. His ability of finding the back of the net from long range efforts has seen him be highlighted as a big threat towards Connor Ripley’s goal this Saturday.
Joe Ward- A traditional right winger, Ward is well versed in beating his man to to deliver crosses. Ward chipped in with two assists in the first game showcasing his ability at this level. Inconsistent performances last season do leave some questions, however, these improved once Grant McCann was reappointed back in February. On top of his attacking talent, Joe Ward ha shown his versatility when implemented as either a wing back or full back, something that will massively aide Peterborough's promotion bid this season.
Morecambe have recruited heavily in positions out wide. Connolly arrived last January whilst Hunter joined this summer alongside Arthur Gnahoua who put pen to paper on a new deal. This means that the winger positions are the strongest in terms of combined depth and ability. This paired with the fact that neither of Peterborough’s two right backs are 100% fit means this area of the pitch will prove vital if Morecambe are to cause an upset and take all three points back to Lancashire.
Peterborough have a solid core group of players that all have a vast amount of experience above the third tier. On the other hand, Morecambe are light on numbers and have produced uninspiring performances in preseason. These two factors point towards a Posh win. However, Derek Adams will not make it easy for Grant McCann’s side as defensive rigidity is the name of the game under the Scotsman. As much as three points would be a massive boost for Morecambe, the quality of the Peterborough side will in no doubt prove too much for Morecambe in a game I am predicting to end in a 2-0 home win.