The day has finally arrived, Chesterfield are headed for Wembley to take on Peterborough United in the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Sunday’s showdown at the national stadium will be the first meeting between the two sides in six years.
While Paul Cook’s Chesterfield have promotion to League One firmly in their sights, the Posh, managed by former Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson’s son Darren, are in the play-off mix attempting to reach the Championship.
Drew Talbot and Dan Gardner have both resumed training this week following lengthy time out on the sidelines through injury. Talbot has been out with an abductor injury and hasn’t featured since the draw at Scunthorpe United seven weeks ago.
Gardner suffered an ankle injury in the defeat at Accrington Stanley on March 8. Both will be hopeful of making the squad. But winger Dan Kearns, on loan at the Proact Stadium from Peterborough, will not be available for selection due to the terms of his loan.
Eoin Doyle and Marc Richards will battle it out for the lone front man role, as Cook is likely to stick with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
His adversary on the day, Ferguson, has tended to set his side up to operate a 4-4-1-1 with Britt Assombalonga the focal point in attack. The 21-year-old faced the Spireites last season at Southend United, while on loan from Watford, before his summer move to the Posh.
Peterborough smashed their highest transfer fee to land Assombalonga in a £1.5 million deal. He has come up with the goods so far, bagging 27 in 47 appearances for the London Road club.
There are problems for Ferguson as four of his regular first team players are cup-tied. First choice centre-halves Ben Nugent and Jack Baldwin are cup-tied as are strikers Conor Washington and Nicky Ajose.
Michael Bostwick had been treading a fine line in the weeks leading up to the final with nine yellow cards to his name.