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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cambridge Utd vs Portsmouth

2 January 2022

Match Previews

Match Preview: Cambridge Utd vs Portsmouth

2 January 2022

Following a two-week break in play following two postponements, the U's are back in action against Portsmouth on Monday (3rd January)...


Prior to the double cancellations of clashes against Wycombe Wanderers and Doncaster Rovers over the festive season, the U’s had been enduring a run of three wins in their last five outings in all competitions, however Mark Bonner’s side will be looking to bounce back following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of promotion chasing Rotherham United last time out.

Cambridge United form: WWWLL

Despite plenty of endeavour against the then table-toppers who made it 21 games unbeaten after the Abbey Stadium clash, a sublime finish from Daniel Barlaser just after the hour mark was enough to separate the sides to condemn the U’s to their second defeat in as many games.

A run of six wins in nine League One games prior to Pompey’s clash at the Abbey Stadium saw Portsmouth rise from 17th – where the South Coast side sat following a 4-0 defeat to Ipswich Town mid-way through October – to 9th and just seven points shy of the play-offs.

Portsmouth form: WWLDW

Marcus Harness and Connor Ogilvie’s goals sealed all three points against Morecambe in the second week of December before COVID-19 halted Pompey’s December, with games against AFC Wimbledon and Exeter City all being postponed before Christmas as well as the Blues’ first two fixtures after the holiday fell to the same feat. Monday’s clash at the Abbey will see Danny Cowley’s side return to action for the first time since December 11th.

Marcus Harness.jpg

Key Player: Marcus Harness

The Burton Albion academy graduate, who made the switch to the South Coast in July 2019 has been Portsmouth’s main output down the right this campaign. The winger has been enjoying a purple patch throughout November and December, scoring five goals in his last eight games before COVID-19 interrupted Pompey’s festive schedule.

Down Memory Lane

Memories of Cambridge United’s 2-1 victory over this Monday’s visitors may be fresh in the minds ahead of the clash, as Joe Ironside and Liam O’Neil’s goals either side of the half-time whistle secured the U’s first ever win over Portsmouth at a sunny Fratton Park in September.

Despite defeat in in the last meeting, history will certainly be on Portsmouth’s side, with Mark Bonner’s side ending an incredible 43-year winless run over Portsmouth in September, with Cambridge United’s one and only other victory coming back in 1978, as Steve Fallon’s volley proved to be enough for the three points in front of 5,869 spectators at The Abbey. Since then, Pompey have won 14 of 17 encounters against The U’s.

Before September’s Fratton Park clash, the most recent encounter between the two sides came in 2017, with Luke Berry’s late strike only proving to be a consolation as Portsmouth ran out 2-1 winners in front of 18,165 at Fratton Park en route to their eventual promotion as champions out of League Two.

Quick Quotes

U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner appreciates the challenge his side will face on Monday: “Any side managed by Danny and Nicky are always really tough opponents, they are top coaches at this this level and it will be a real challenge for us. I think the atmosphere in the game will be brilliant and that will spur everybody on, so I'm looking forward to it.

“They have ground out some brilliant results and are playing well so if they go into Monday’s game with the same sort of style that they have been playing, we know how hard it will be.”

Danny Cowley while questioned on the COVID-19 issues within his Pompey squad said, “We seem to have come through it, which is obviously very good news. We’re certainly moving in the right direction.

“The change in restrictions from 10 days of isolation to seven has also helped some players return to training quicker. We’re certainly hopeful that we’ve managed to navigate through that difficult period because it’s amazing how it can spread like wildfire once the virus gets into the building.

“It’s been frustrating because we’ve obviously had to postpone three games when we were on a really good run of form.”


Joshua Smith will head up Monday’s clash at the Abbey Stadium, alongside Michael George and Daniel Leach, who have been appointed as his assistants. Trevor Kettle will watch from the side-lines as fourth official.

How to Watch

The clash kicks off at 3pm, with tickets available online, over the phone by calling 01223 566500 (option 1) or by visiting the Abbey Stadium Ticket Office on Monday.

Supporters attending the Abbey Stadium should be made aware that COVID-19 certification is required upon entry, with more information available to read here.

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 view advance prices below:

Advance Match Ticket Prices

Newmarket Rd/North Habbin

Main Stand Family Enclosures

Main Stand Blocks B, E, F & AC 1, 2

Main Stand Blocks C & D











Under 18





Under 12





Wheelchair Disabled





Ambulant Disabled supporters in receipt of higher level disability living allowance pay their relevant age category with a Carer Free of Charge, whilst the Wheelchair Disabled price also included the admission of a Free Carer Ticket, if required.

*Concessions = Seniors (64+), Young Adults (18-23), Serving or Retired Armed Forces and Full-Time Students

If you can't make it to the game, listen to the action live on iFollow.

International U’s will be able stream the action live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here.

The best way to stream the match is by doing so via the EFL iFollow App but please note, the App is only for streaming and supporters can't purchase their Match Passes through the application.

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Visit the Live Match Centre to access form guides, live text commentary and live access to the match on iFollow

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