Following last weekend’s draw at the Abbey, Mark Bonner’s men will look to go one step further as they prepare to face promotion chasing Sheffield Wednesday…
How to follow the action
Saturday afternoon’s Sky Bet League One clash at Hillsborough kicks-off at 3.00pm (GMT), with tickets available to buy (cash only) on the day from the Sheffield Wednesday ticket office. The prices are at the following:
Adults - £22
Senior - £12
Under 21 - £12
Under 11 - £10
Under 5 - £5
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A run of eight wins in 11 games has seen Darren Moore’s side move into play-off contention, with the Owls currently sitting just a point outside the top six. A win on Saturday could see Wednesday move into the top six and ahead of three teams – with Moore’s men also boasting games in hand on all the play-off chasing sides.
Wednesday’s run of three consecutive wins was ended last weekend as Lincoln City picked up a valuable three points in their battle for survival. John Marquis’ brace, coupled with Norton-Cuffy’s finish from the edge of the area was enough to seal a 3-1 win for the Imps.
As expected, experienced playmaker Barry Bannan has been pivotal to Darren Moore’s side this season. Sitting in the middle of the park, the former Aston Villa man has impressively contributed to nine goals (five goals, four assists) in his last 10 outings in League One, recently scoring two and assisting one in the Owl’s 5-2 win over Burton a week and a half ago.
Sheffield Wednesday form: LWWWL
Cambridge United form: WWLLD
The U’s head into Saturday’s Hillsborough clash having shared the spoils with Shrewsbury Town at the Abbey last weekend. Mark Bonner would have taken pleasure out of his side’s resilient defensive performance, however not so much when it came to United’s struggles breaking down the Shrew’s impressive defence.
United currently sit 13th in League One, with a 13-point buffer between themselves and the bottom four. A win at Hillsborough on Saturday could see the U’s move into the top half of the table, dependant on Accrington’s result against Charlton.
Down Memory Lane
Saturday’s clash will be the 18th time in which both sides have locked horns. Sheffield Wednesday hold the head-to-head edge, winning on nine of the 16 occasions in which both sides have met – with the U’s winning on just four occasions.
Despite the head-to-head statistics, Mark Bonner’s men head into Saturday’s clash off the back of a four-game unbeaten run against the Owl’s, having drawn in the return fixture at the Abbey Stadium.
George Williams’ near post header had given the U’s the lead after 20 minutes, however United were pegged back with just 10 minutes remaining on the clock after Fisayo Dele-Bashiru fired in from close range.
Prior to October’s clash, Luke Berry’s extra-time winner enough for the U’s to progress to the Second Round of the League Cup the last time the two sides met back in 2016.
Lucas Joao had originally given the visitors on the night the lead, however the Portuguese striker’s goal was cancelled out by Piero Mingoia’s brilliant long-range effort in the last minute of normal time, taking the tie to extra-time.
Following a two-week break, Sebastian Stockbridge will take charge of Sheffield Wednesday’s clash with the U’s. The referee last officiated in MK Dons’ 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers a fortnight ago, handing out just a single yellow card to Bolton’s Aaron Morley.
It will be the first time United have been officiated by Stockbridge since United’s defeat to MK Dons in November.
Stockbridge will be joined by assistants Richard Woodward and Declan Ford, with Wayne Grunnill overseeing the game as fourth official.
U’s head coach Mark Bonner is looking forward to Saturday’s clash at Hillsborough
“We had a brilliant game with them earlier in the season and were very competitive. They’re in terrific form and playing really well, but it's very easy to forget that at the beginning of the season when the fixture list drops, you look for the games like these ones and you look at them and go, “These are the fixtures that we got promoted for!”, the ones that are pushing for and obviously you look at Ipswich, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan, they're all to come.”
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