Cambridge United hit the road on Tuesday night as they travel to Wycombe Wanderers in their latest Sky Bet League One clash...
Mark Bonner’s men have endured a hard time of late, succumbing to four consecutive defeats in the division. In a sharp turnaround, they look to accumulate some much-needed points against a Chairboys side who have found their mojo of late.
How to Watch
Over 250 tickets have already been snatched up ahead of the 7:45pm tie in Buckinghamshire. Supporters who wish to join us can buy their tickets for the match on the day at Adams Park.
Under the tutelage of Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe Wanderers have enjoyed a spellbinding journey, which has sparked memories in each and every campaign. Fluctuating between rankings, the side went from within a defeat from dropping to Non-League in 2014 to gaining a first-ever promotion to the Championship over five years later. Although they returned to the third tier instantly despite almost performing the majestic great escape, they dragged themselves to the play-offs last season, falling short to Sunderland in the Wembley final. Well-drilled, their tactics may not be easy on the eye to many, but their doggedness and desire is undoubtedly effective.
A 3-0 dismantling of Burton Albion on the opening day gave an indication that the Blues could be a force, but that transpired into three successive losses. Newcomers Barnsley were put to the sword next, 0-3 away from home, before the shares were spoiled against Charlton Athletic and Fleetwood Town. A Jason McCarthy finish sealed the points against Accrington Stanley, but the four-game unbeaten run switched to another three-match losing streak in an excruciating schedule against promotion challengers Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle. The streaky side bounced back in some style, beating Oxford United, Peterborough United and then MK Dons last time out. A testing start to the campaign looks to be behind the Chairboys now – they’re hunting five on the bounce in all competitions.
Ainsworth’s men have a difficult spine to dissect. Joe Jacobson adds an immense level of creativity from the left, whilst the returning Alfie Mawson adds pedigree after a successful spell in the Championship. Lewis Wing and Nick Freeman pull the strings, allowing freedom for Anis Mehmeti, who’s adding goals to his game and enjoying playing behind hitman Sam Vokes.
Wycombe Wanderers: LWWWW
Cambridge United: LLLWL
The U’s approach the important tie desperate to put things right following a frustrating 0-1 defeat against Port Vale on home soil just three days prior.
Despite being kept in the encounter thanks to a string of fine saves from Will Mannion in the first half, Bonner’s men did not conjure up a shot on target, which was punished by an unfortunate Paul Digby own goal late in the encounter.
Reflecting on the loss, the Head Coach said, “We’ve lost way too many games. That should be just a rubbish 0-0 in the end after the first half but we haven’t found a way of taking points from games at the moment when they’re running away from us."
Overall, the U’s have now lost seven of their last eight league games. Included in that is five in succession, which hasn’t happened since they returned to the Football League, with one goal scored in that time. Although the chips are down, character has been shown on many occasions with this current group, can they recapture that spirit?
On the team news front, a similar squad is anticipated. Harrison Dunk looks the likeliest to return to the fold next, whereas Dimitar Mitov and Brandon Haunstrup are still a few weeks from selection.
Wycombe Wanderers Wins: 15
Cambridge United Wins: 5
Down Memory Lane
Where the U’s are concerned, they will hope the phrase ‘third time lucky’ proves fruitful after their two previous clashes in 2022 have resulted in convincing Chairboys victories. Inspired attacking displays from Anis Mehmeti and Sam Vokes helped secure midweek 3-0 and 1-4 romps in the midweek clashes.
You’d have to go back well over six years to recall the last time United claimed success over their opponents. In 2016, they kickstarted March with a resolute 1-0 win thanks to Josh Coulson’s deflected header - his last for the side. On the evening, it moved the team within three points of the play-offs, but they ultimately fell short under Shaun Derry.
The overall record between the sides makes for good reading for the hosts. The aforementioned victory is the solitary one in 10, with eight defeats in that time too. United have recorded maximum points just once at Adams Park, that came in February 2001. Not a happy hunting ground, but the visitors’ focus is solely on the present.
Referee: Peter Wright
Assistant Referee: Adam Ricketts
Assistant Referee: Simon Shaw
Fourth Official: Bhupinder Gill