Tranmere Rovers vs. Peterborough match preview

Rovers in search of Moore cup glory
This weekend, Tranmere Rovers meet Peterborough United of Coca-Cola League Two in the second round of this seasons F.A. Cup Competition.

Both sides will be looking to progress to the third round of the competition and gain a money spinning third round tie, but only one side will progress and get that lucrative game against one of the Premiership's “big boys”.

A big attendance is expected at Prenton Park after Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony decided he'd pay for all Peterborough fans to travel on the Official Club Coaches up to the game.

United team profile:

Formed: 1934

Ground: London Road

Manager: Keith Alexander

Nickname: The Posh

Season Finish 2005/06: 9th (Coca-Cola League Two)

Previous Meetings:

Tranmere will be looking for a repeat of when the two sides last met, when Rovers ran out 5-0 winners at Prenton Park under Brian Little in the 2004/05 season.

At Prenton Park on March 18th, Rovers were 3-0 up by half-time thanks to strikes from Iain Hume, Paul Hall and Jason McAteer.  Rovers extended their lead in the second half, with Hume once again striking in the 80th minute to round off the win after a 60th minute goal for Jamaican international Theo Whitmore.

Earlier in the same season, Rovers lost 2-1 in the first round of the F.A. Cup.  Kennedy gave The Posh the lead in the 10th minute, only for this to be cancelled out by a magnificent free-kick by Ryan Taylor on 42-minutes as the two-sides went in level at half-time.

However, after the break Rovers were to conceed a second goal, in the 89th minute through Woodhouse as Tranmere were sent crashing out of the F.A. Cup at the first hurdle.

Vital Stats:

Tranmere Rovers and Peterborough United have met three times previously in the F.A. Cup, with The Posh winning on all three occasions

19 meetings between Tranmere and Peterborough have passed by since the last away win

On 13 of their 22 trips to Prenton Park, The Posh have failed to score

Peterborough haven't won at Prenton Park since 23rd February 1981

In 45 matches, the two sides have only ever met three times in December

The Form Book:

Tranmere last 6 home games: WWWLWL
Peterborough last 6 away games: LWLWWW

Under new boss Keith Alexander who left Lincoln City in the summer and was strongly linked with the Tranmere job as a replacement for Brian Little, Peterborough have come into some good form of late and are hot contenders for promotion come May.

After a steady start to the season, The Posh one just one of nine games (in normal time) in league and cup in late August and then through-out September, losing six, but since have won eight of their last 11 matches.

Things have been shaky on the road though for The Posh, as they crashed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy last night, losing 1-0 to
Bristol City.

Previous to that,
Peterborough had won four out of their last five on the road, with the only defeat coming against Paul Lambert's Wycombe, where The Post lost 2-0.

Mansfield, Peterborough won 2-0, whilst wins also came over high flying MK Dons (2-0), Stockport County (1-0) and another promotion chasing side, Swindon Town (1-0).

However, Peterborough won just one of their opening four league away games, drawing 0-0 with Wrexham and Notts County, picking up three points against Boston United where they won 1-0 and then on the end of a 5-0 drubbing at the Bescott Stadium against Walsall.

In the First Round of this season's F.A. Cup competition, Peterborough pulled off a shock win as they beat Rotherham United of League One 3-0 at London Road.

For Tranmere, it has been a dream start under new boss Ronnie Moore, especially at Prenton Park where the Super White Army have been guided to seven wins out of ten in the league, along with a defeat and two draws, plus a win and a defeat in the cup competitions, in which they have been defeated by League Two opposition in Darlington (1-0) in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and seen of Nationwide Conference side Woking, beating The Cards 4-2 in the first round of the F.A. Cup.

In the league, Tranmere have won three in a row at Prenton Park, seeing off Blackpool on Friday (2-0) after wins against Millwall (3-1) and Bournemouth (1-0). These wins followed a run of three matches without a win at Prenton Park, with Huddersfield (2-2) and Nottingham Forest (0-0) leaving the Wirral with a share of the points and Port Vale (2-1) taking home all three.

At the start of the season, Tranmere won four home matches in a row, conceding just the single goal, as they beat Oldham (1-0), Yeovil Town (2-1), Leyton Orient (3-0) and Bristol City (1-0) on their way up to second in the League One table.

In the first round of this season's F.A. Cup, Tranmere defeated Woking 4-2 at Prenton Park.

The One To Watch:

On-loan striker Aaron McLean has been a massive hit since joining Peterborough from Conference side Grays Athletic earlier this season.

After scoring a fantastic 13 goals in 17 games for Grays, McLean secured himself a loan move to Peterborough with a view to a permanent move just under a month ago. Since joining The Posh, McLean has struck three league goals and one cup goal in just four games and has proved a successful signing so far.

Another striker with an eye for goal is former Leicester City target man Trevor Benjamin.

The 27 year old played 23 games last season (including 17 substitute appearances) scoring just one goal in the process, but this season has seen a turn around in his fortunes.

In 21 games this season, of which only five have been sfrom the subs bench, Benjamin has already netted seven goals, six more than last season's tally, of which five have been in the league and two in the league cup.

Team News:

Tranmere have a number of none-starters on Saturday, thanks to suspension and injury, which could once again leave the door open for Mike Jones and/or Craig Curran to make a rare appearance.

Danny Harrison serves the second of a three match ban for Rovers after getting sent off in a reserve fixture, whilst it Steve Jennings and Jason McAteer will once again miss out due to injury, leaving Rovers with no experienced cover in the centre of midfield.

Gareth Taylor is also touch and go for Tranmere, as Ronnie Moore explained he had a slight hamstring strain on the Rovers official website.

Left-sided players Carl Tremarco and Kevin Ellison are expected to miss out once again with injury, as is Ollie James, although he is yet to feature for Rovers this season. Calvin Zola could start after playing in a friendly against TNS for Tranmere on Tuesday.

Jones' Prediction:
Tranmere 4-3 Peterborough