Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League One clash between Lincoln City and Peterborough United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The hosts are 13th in the table, out of contention for a playoff push but comfortably clear of the relegation zone, while the visitors are up in eighth place, and still have an outside chance of winning promotion.
Having acquired 45 points in 35 games, Lincoln are almost certainly safe from relegation, but they trail the top six by 18 points, meaning they are almost certainly not going to pose a threat at the top end of the table.
One of the main reasons the Imps have been unable to challenge is their tendency to draw games, going on an unbeaten run of 10 games recently, but drawing on seven occasions.
A lack of goals has also been a major issue for Mark Kennedy‘s side, scoring just 33 goals in the third tier so far this season, the third-lowest amount of any side outside the relegation zone.
In the reverse fixture against Saturday’s opponents earlier this season, Lincoln lost 4-0 away at the Weston Homes Stadium, recording just one shot on target in the entire match, and a much-improved performance will be needed if they are going to take anything from this weekend’s game.
After being relegated from the Championship in the 2021/22 campaign, Peterborough are competing at the top end of the League One table, but they will need a strong end to the season to stand a chance of finishing in the all-important top six.
The Posh currently trail sixth-placed Bolton Wanderers by six points, although they do have a game in hand at their disposal, so the playoff places are still well within reach.
Recent form has been very inconsistent for Darren Ferguson‘s side, recording a 5-2 victory against second-placed Plymouth Argyle at the back end of February, but losing 3-0 against 17th-placed Cheltenham Town in their last home match.
Games involving Peterborough have often featured plenty of goals this season, racking up 60 in 36 League One games, however they have struggled defensively, having conceded on 47 occasions, the second-highest amount of any side in the top half.
Last time out, the Posh romped home to a 5-2 victory away at Burton Albion, with Jonson Clarke-Harris continuing his sensational form in front of goal, scoring a brace.
Lincoln City League One form:
Peterborough United League One form:
A hamstring injury has caused Matty Virtue to miss the majority of Lincoln’s games in 2023, but the midfielder returned to the starting lineup in the recent trip to Exeter, and should keep his place alongside Ethan Erhahon.
After suffering defeat against the Grecians, Kennedy may make a few changes to his side, with Olamide Shodipo potentially replacing Daniel Mandroiu, after being brought on for the final 15 minutes last weekend.
As for Peterborough, Clarke-Harris is a sure-fire starter in attack, as the Jamaican is way out in front at the top of the League One goal-scoring charts, scoring 21 goals in 36 outings, five more than any other player.
Given that his side won resoundingly against Burton, Ferguson is unlikely to make any changes to his side, with Harrison Burrows poised to play in-behind Clarke Harris, accompanied by Ephron Mason-Clark and Joe Ward on either side.
Lincoln City possible starting lineup:
Rushworth; O’Connor, Jackson, Montsma; Poole, Erhahon, Virtue, Roughan; Diamond, Shodipo, House
Peterborough United possible starting lineup:
Norris; Thompson, Kent, Edwards, Ogbeta; Taylor, Norburn, Ward, Burrows, Mason-Clark; Clarke-Harris
We say: Lincoln City 1-3 Peterborough United
It is crunch time for Peterborough in their push for the playoff places, and we back them to secure a victory on Saturday, given that Lincoln have very little to play for at this point.
The Posh have been in fine form in front of goal in recent weeks, and it will be no surprise if Clarke-Harris is again on the scoresheet, in a relatively comfortable victory.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.