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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey vs U's

15 August 2022

Cambridge United will arrive at Fratton Park aiming to capitalise on their momentum and secure a first victory on their travels of the 2022/23 season when they take on Portsmouth...

The battle under the south coast floodlights promises to be an enticing one. Mark Bonner’s men will look to secure back-to-back wins for the second time this campaign against a resolute Pompey side who are unbeaten and have kept three clean sheets on the bounce.

  • How to Watch

Just shy of 500 U’s fans have already snatched up their tickets ahead of the 7:45pm tie at PO4. Supporters who wish to join us have until 9pm on Monday to buy their tickets online at cufctickets.com.

If you aren't able to make it to the game, fans from both inside the UK and overseas can stream the match live. iFollow Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here.

  • Opposition Focus

After undergoing a full season of transition since their March 2021 appointments, you get the sense that this is very much Danny and Nicky Cowley’s squad after a busy summer of dissection. After failing to reach the play-offs in their previous two campaigns, the aim is simple – ensure it’s third time lucky this time.

Despite losing key figures in Alex Bass and Marcus Harness, Pompey have acquired astutely. So far, 11 new players have entered the door, offering the perfect blend of potential and experience. Well-known Michael Morrison, Marlon Pack and Joe Pigott offer know-how, whereas Dane Scarlett, Zak Swanson and Josh Griffiths offer sky-high promise. Not many, if any, have had more productive windows.

The curtain raiser dished up an enthralling 3-3 draw at heavily-fancied Sheffield Wednesday, before they held Lincoln City to a stalemate in their last Fratton Park outing. The first success came three days later when a devastating second-half in Cardiff saw Cowley’s men triumph 0-3 in the Carabao Cup to, funnily enough, secure another tie in Wales in the Second Round at Newport County. Most recently, they dispatched Cheltenham Town 0-2 thanks to Colby Bishop’s brace.

Form Guide

Portsmouth: LDDWW

Cambridge United: LWWLW

  • United’s Approach

Considering the nature of the opposition United have encountered thus far this season, three wins from four is a phenomenal feat and testament to the character within the whole squad.

After tasting defeat in the most sourest of ways a week previously, the U’s flexed their bouncebackability credentials at the first attempt with a determined showing after the break to see off an inspired Exeter City. They’ve made home advantage count too - all of their successes have occurred in CB5. In spite of that, United executed some sublime away day displays throughout last season, so they’ll make the trip confident that they can open their account.

Reflecting on the three points, Mark Bonner stated: “We were good in the second half. I thought we played with miles more intent with two really good goals so I’m delighted to win the game.”

In regards to potential changes given the turnover, the Head Coach admitted: “It might be an opportunity for four or five others to come into the team. We might change quite a few to try and give us a real freshness if we can.”

  • Head-to-Head

Portsmouth: 14

Cambridge United: 3

Draws: 4

  • Down Memory Lane

The U’s ripped up the form book during 2021/22 as they avoided defeat in all three of their matchups against Pompey. In our most recent meeting, further cup heroics saw us reach the Quarter-Finals of the Papa John’s Trophy courtesy of Harvey Knibbs’ brace. A week prior, the sides battled to a 0-0 at the Abbey.

A record was broken, however, the last time United ventured to the coast when Joe Ironside’s header and Liam O’Neil’s sumptuous strike secured a first-ever win at Fratton Park. Before that, the blues had gone 16 unbeaten against Tuesday’s visitors.

“The two goals we scored were outstanding and periods of play were good. Once we got through the first nervy couple of minutes of the game, I thought we played with some control, didn’t get too erratic and showed a lot more control and composure.”

  • Officials

Referee: Chris Pollard

Assistant Referee: Ryan Whitaker

Assistant Referee: Adam Ricketts

Fourth Official: Kevin Morris


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