Cambridge United hit the road for the first time in 2022/23 as they take on Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium with the sole aim of continuing their perfect start to the campaign...
Having taken two wins and two clean sheets from MK Dons and Millwall respectively, morale within the U’s camp is sky-high. Despite remaining underdogs, Mark Bonner’s men look to register a third consecutive win, whilst the hosts are out to kickstart their campaign and register some points.
- How to Watch
Over 500 tickets have already been snatched up ahead of the 3pm tie in Oxfordshire. Supporters who wish to join us can buy their tickets for the match online at cufctickets.com or over the phone by calling 01223 566500.
Domestic fans who are unable to make the game will be able to listen to live match commentary via iFollow, as well as being able to follow live match updates on the day through United’s social media channels.
- Opposition Focus
Settled under Karl Robinson, the U’s are eager to re-establish their place in the promotion hunt after finishing 8th last season – their first time missing out after securing two successive play-off positions. Possessing energy, desire and the ability to share goals around the squad, a strong core is being shaped up.
Despite losing key cogs in Luke McNally and Mark Sykes, eight signings have entered the building so far to soften the blow. To name a few, wing options Josh Murphy (from Cardiff City) and Jodi Jones (Coventry City) provide trickery and know-how to thrive, as does Yanic Wildschut, the 30-year-old former EFL cult hero arrives from CSKA Sofia. Leeds United prodigy Lewis Bate arrives on loan for the season, he adds bite and drive to the middle of the park. The jigsaw is almost complete for the U’s.
Not the ideal start, Oxford commenced the new season with a narrow 1-0 loss against new boys Derby County last Saturday. Taking the positives, the work rate was evident for the visitors – they’ll get sharper, of course, but early signs were there that they’ll be a match for anyone.
- Form Guide
Oxford United: WLLDL
Cambridge United: LLLWW
- United’s Approach
Purring, the U’s are eager to get back on the grass and build on the momentum they’ve generated from a productive seven days.
After dispatching MK Dons 1-0 on home soil in convincing fashion, they followed that up with the same result and relatively similar performance against a strong Millwall side in the Carabao Cup. After carefully managing a below-par first-half, the complexity of the encounter changed within a matter of minutes when Liam O’Neil nestled home a sumptuous strike before a red card for the Lions allowed the hosts to gain control and see out the tie.
Speaking after the game, Bonner expressed: “We wanted to be competitive and we wanted to get through, and to do that is excellent!” Despite ringing 9 changes, United were clinical and professional when it mattered. They obtain that fire in their belly to go again and, frankly, spirits could not be higher.
Speaking to the press, the Head Coach acknowledged that he may be forced into changes. “Who’s fit and who isn’t has quite a big bearing on how we play. We’ll wait and see within the next 24 hours and hope that we’ve got everybody available and I can make lots of them unhappy because they can’t all get in the team.”
Oxford United Wins: 11
Cambridge United Wins: 8
- Down Memory Lane
Our most recent clash against the U’s fell in February of this year when Robinson’s side edged through with a 4-2 topsy-turvy success at this weekend’s venue. On-song Sam Smith sent the boys in amber ahead twice, but Cameron Brannagan’s brace either side of Sam Baldock’s attempt handed the hosts the points, who vastly improved as the game reached its conclusion.
“When it went to 2-2, I thought Oxford were excellent and got control of the game, causing us huge problems… I actually think there’s a lot to like about the performance for us, and a lot to learn from it as well,” was Bonner’s summary of the tie.
In their league matchups, United are winless in five against the side from OX4 – with their last victory coming in October 2014 when the Sky Sports cameras witnessed a 5-1 thrashing. A repeat would go down rather nicely for the travelling contingent.
Referee: Tom Reeves
Assistant Referee: Samuel Ogles
Assistant Referee: Lisa Rashid
Fourth Official: Christopher Husband