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Proven partnerships prepare to do battle as Posh host Bristol City

Between them, Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron McLean scored a combined total of 182 goals for Peterborough United across all competitions. No wonder Posh boss Darren Ferguson wanted them both back to revive a stuttering campaign.

Eighth-place Boro have hosting duties here against League One leaders and odds-on 4/7 promotion favourites Bristol City. Ferguson junior is 7/4 with Coral to stop the rot after no third-tier win in five by beating the Robins.

Bristol’s only Football League team (following the relegation of Rovers to the Conference last term) triumphed at London Road 2-1 back in March. A repeat result is a 9/1 shot, and this coupled with City being top dogs means they are 6/4 favourites for three points. Odds for a draw are 23/10.

Peterborough are not the only side with a proven partnership, however. Robins front two Kieran Agard and Aaron Wilbraham have 18 goals between them this term, and that is impressive after many wondered how Cotterill would cope with the sale of last season’s top scorer Sam Baldock to Brighton and Hove Albion.

City have also landed Fulham and former Leeds United target man Matt Smith on loan, and he will add another dimension to their play, plus relieve the burden on Wilbraham’s ageing legs. Odds of 6/4 say Agard, who netted 21 times in this division for Rotherham United last term, will net anytime.

McLean, meanwhile, is 21/10 to score on another Posh debut, with this ‘back to the future’ subplot making for an intriguing backdrop. Will the return of the ‘Macs’, both aged 30 or over, see the two strikers have a renaissance?

Former Scotland striker Mackail-Smith re-joined Peterborough from Brighton following the loan capture of ex-England international Darren Bent, which was a real coup for Sami Hyypia.

Although the Robins come into this one after back-to-back defeats, they were narrow losses to promotion rivals Preston North End and Swindon Town. Posh, meanwhile, have been bested by relegation fodder Crewe Alexandra and Scunthorpe United in recent matches.

It’s because of this that City should edge this one, but an away win looks likely to come with both teams scoring at a tasty 4/1, as their three recent victories over Peterborough have come with that happening. Note there is a maximum stake of £20 on this bet.