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Match Previews

Cambridge Preview

Andy Phillips previews the visit of Cambridge United this coming weekend.

27 October 2017

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Town host Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon (3pm) with the chance to continue their recent run of form.

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The Mariners have now lost just one of their last nine league games and after picking up four points on their travels, they will now be looking to do the business on their own patch against Cambridge.

With bosses Russell Slade and Shaun Derry being very familiar with each other following their time together at Notts County, where the Town boss gave Derry his start in the professional game, both will be eager to get one over the other at the weekend.

Rose and Osborne back in training

Town have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of the U's, and have also received a boost with Karleigh Osborne and Mitch Rose back in training to increase the options available to boss Russell Slade over the coming weeks.

With Jamey Osborne and Sean McAllister also set to return to action in the coming weeks, there is plenty of competition for places up for grabs leading up to the New Year.

Cambridge have no fresh injury concerns, with their main injury since the season started being to striker Ade Azeez, who is expected back before Christmas. Midfielder Paul Lewis has also returned from a loan spell at Dover Athletic, so could be in contention for a place in Shaun Derry's squad. 

Cambridge unbeaten in three


Cambridge: LWLLLLDWW

Cambridge have picked up form as of late after an inconsistent start to the campaign, and they come into Saturday's clash unbeaten in their last three games and on the back of a 2-1 success over bottom side Chesterfield last weekend.

Boss Shaun Derry has now been in charge since September 2015, leading the club to top half finishes in both of his full seasons on charge, so he will now be hoping to go that one step further and get the club challenging for the play-off places at the very least.

Derry began his managerial career at Notts County, spending two years at Meadow Lane before taking over at Cambridge and the former Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers midfielder has built a good reputation for himself at Cambridge.   

He has kept a fairly consistent squad during his time at the Abbey Stadium, and the likes of captain Leon Legge, defender Greg Taylor and forward Harrison Dunk in particular have been at the club for several seasons now between them, with the latter two since the club's National League days.

The dangerman for Derry's side is striker Uche Ikpeazu, with the 22-year-old former Watford striker scoring 7 goals this campaign and bringing pace and power to the side whenever he plays.     

A Town double last campaign

Town did the double over Cambridge last campaign, with Paul Hurst and Russell Slade both earning victories over them.

The last meeting was Slade's first game back at the club, with a Calum Dyson penalty and a Chris Clements strike being the difference in a 2-1 victory for the Mariners.

They also came away with a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture back in October 2016, with Town ending Cambridge's four match unbeaten run thanks to a goal from James Berrett.

The sides have met on 38 occasions over the years, with Town winning 17 times, Cambridge winning on 12 occasions and there being nine draws.

Managers in summary

Russell Slade: ''They hit diagonal balls into their two big strikers, Jabo Ibehre is very strong in the air. It’s difficult to know what shape he’ll come with, because he has changed a few times, he does like to play three in midfield but they’re a big, strong, physical side. We’ve watched some of the footage where they went a little bit tighter and stronger against Lincoln, got themselves a very good 0-0 draw there. They’ve changed a little bit as well, they’ve lost Luke Berry to Luton and the turnover of players in League Two does tend to be quite high.”

Shaun Derry: ''Russell has been there a while now and he has implemented his new ideas on the group, and he’s had his window to bring new types of players into the football club and and judging by his history of what type of manager he is, it’s going to be a very difficult game. It doesn’t surprise anyone when you speak about the difficulties of League Two. He has gone for a very experienced group of players, and ones that have been largely successful at the level. He has put his trust in that type of player and that’s something that he has adopted in the past as well. He has used all his experience, nous and know-how about what the level is all about.”

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