After successful opening day outings, Cambridge United and Millwall turn their attentions to Carabao Cup action as the Abbey Stadium hosts the First Round Clash…
Eager to build on the momentum generated over the weekend, both sides look to continue their winning start to the campaign as they pit their wits for a second successive season. Whilst progression will be the sole aim, a productive evening awaits as more minutes are implemented into the tank for Mark Bonner and Gary Rowett’s fired up men.
- How to Watch
Tuesday evening’s trophy encounter kicks off at 19:45pm (GMT), with tickets still available for fans to buy online.
Save money by purchasing your tickets in advance of the fixture, as all prices increase by £2 when buying in-person on the day of the game.
Please note, Tuesday's game is not available for domestic streaming via iFollow.
- Opposition Focus
Managed by familiar face Rowett, who was an integral asset in United’s best-ever League Cup run in 1992/93 (Quarter-Finals), the Lions are a tough nut to crack. Disciplined, commanding and tactically well-drilled, their five at the back system makes for a resilient challenge - the hosts will know they’ve been in a game.
After finishing 9th in a consistently sound 2021/22 campaign, one where they flirted with the play-offs throughout, the mantra now is to kick on and break through. Despite last reaching those heady heights 20 years ago, the foundations have been laid this time.
Five new additions have entered SE16 throughout the summer so far – bolstering all areas of the field. Charlie Cresswell and Jamie Shackleton arrived on loan from Leeds United, whereas midfield spark George Honeyman and experienced Benik Afobe added to the attacking ranks. The Lions also made a real statement of intent by luring Zian Flemming to the club from Fortuna Sittard, smashing their transfer record fee in the process.
They kickstarted their 6th season in the second tier with a convincing 2-0 win against Stoke City at the weekend thanks to Cresswell’s double on his competitive debut. The centre-back is evidence of the visitors’ prowess from set-pieces, something the U’s will no doubt pinpoint in their preparation.
- Form Guide
Cambridge United: WLLLW
- United’s Approach
Saturday was a first indication that the U’s challenging pre-season schedule will pay its dividends ahead of the campaign.
Although maybe not incredibly inspiring throughout the 90, grit, perseverance and desire was all on show as they retreated in their numbers to protect an early and deserved lead. Clinical when it mattered, Harvey Knibbs dispatched their main chance with aplomb; MK, who many tip to be there or thereabouts come May, obtained 67% possession, but the hosts limited them to no shots on target at all. Frankly, it was the perfect performance.
On account of that, spirits are extremely high. This is a healthy group, an impressive one at that. "This is the best squad I’ve had since I’ve become manager," said Bonner after speaking to the press following Saturday’s victory.
The Head Coach did hint at changes, keen to freshen up his side and draft in some fringe players for valuable game time. He stated: "We’ll get lots of boys 90 minutes on Tuesday night that haven’t had it – that will give us rhythm and set us up nicely going into the next couple of weekends."
Cambridge United Wins: 5
Millwall Wins: 8
- Down Memory Lane
Our latest trip actually doesn’t take us too far at all – owing to the sides clashing in the Second Round of this very competition in August 2021. With the Den the venue, it was the visitors who took the lead through George Williams’ first strike in amber, although the Lions roared to victory thanks to a quickfire Murray Wallace brace and Matt Smith’s effort.
Despite the defeat, the U’s made an excellent account of themselves - with Mark Bonner stating after the game, "We were really competitive against a good Championship side. You have to be careful celebrating defeat too much, but there’s so much to like about this side and I’m really positive."
Delving into the past, United are winless in nine vs Millwall – their last victory came in 1992 whilst the sides were in the Football League First Division.
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Assistant Referee: Stuart Butler
Assistant Referee: Paul Kelly
Fourth Official: Chris Pollard