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Posh can get back to winning ways with FA Cup victory at Colchester

Colchester United have never beaten fellow League One side Peterborough United in a major domestic cup competition in nine attempts. Coral thus make Posh 7/5 favourites to win this FA Cup match and join the big boys in Monday’s third round draw.

Darren Ferguson’s side are on, by their standards, a dismal run of one win in seven, however, but have already won recorded a league win in Essex back in August, with a repeat 3-1 scoreline an 18/1 shot here.

Colchester, meanwhile, are only off the bottom of the third tier table because of Yeovil Town’s inferior goal difference and Crewe Alexandra being a point further back. They are 9/5 to win, while a draw, which means a London Road replay next midweek, comes in at 12/5.

In all honesty, though, Colchester’s form is hardly any better than Peterborough’s. Both teams were thumped in league action last time out; Posh succumbing to a damaging 3-0 defeat at home to promotion rivals Bristol City, while the U’s were hit for six by rampant MK Dons.

Perhaps the world’s oldest knockout football competition can serve as an escape for recent woes. Ferguson junior has brought back former charges Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron McLean to help revive their push for the play-offs or better.

While the ‘return of the Macs’ didn’t immediately pay off, the pair are proven marksmen against opposition of lowly Colchester’s calibre. At the time of writing, however, Mackail-Smith’s parent club Brighton and Hove Albion have not given him permission to play in the FA Cup, as they are yet to enter the competition.

If he gets the nod, the Scottish striker is 6/5 to score anytime. Partner McLean has got the thumbs up from Bradford City to feature, though, and is 5/4 to net the first goal of his second Peterborough stint anytime here.

In Colchester colours, former West Ham United forward Freddie Sears is a stand-out name. He has a dozen goals across all competitions this term so far, and four of those have come in his last five. Back Sears, then, to score again anytime at 5/4.

Ex-Arsenal man Sanchez Watt has supplemented the strikes of Sears with five himself, including two in the last four. He is longer at 7/4 to net here.

Posh really should stop the rot against at Colchester team which doesn’t need the distraction of a cup run, as they are already in the midst of a relegation dogfight.

Back that famous footballing name Ferguson to come good, and take tasty odds of 14/5 on Peterborough winning both at half-time and full-time, as his side have achieved this in both of their last two meetings with Colchester.