Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Match Preview: Burton Albion vs U's

8 October 2023

Club News

Match Preview: Burton Albion vs U's

8 October 2023

Cambridge United are looking to make an impression in front of the Sky Sports cameras for a second time already this season as they take on Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Monday night...

Mark Bonner’s men will be hoping to put on a show against the Brewers and secure a first victory in five, whereas the hosts have picked up steam of late and approach the encounter unbeaten in four.

How to Watch

The U’s will be backed by a healthy away following throughout Monday evening’s fixture, which gets underway at 8pm in Staffordshire. For those wishing to attend, tickets can be purchased online until 9pm on Sunday, or on the day from the Pirelli Stadium.

As stated, this clash has been selected for live viewing on the Sky Sports Football channel – coverage starts at 7:30pm. Due to the fixture being televised, the game will not be available to watch on iFollow.

Alternatively, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire will be on hand to provide full match commentary.

Opposition Focus

Founded in 1950, the former non-league outfit rose through the ranks within the past few decades and have not looked back since reaching the Football League in 2009 – even famously spending a couple of years in the Championship as recently as five years ago. Now stabilised under galvaniser Dino Maamria, progression from recent rankings of 16th, 16th and 15th is the aim for the Brewers.

Switching formations to suit their opponents, Albion are comfortable deploying three or four at the back, but have recently found joy with the latter. The tight-knit squad each know their role and possess real energy and desire. Max Crocombe is the undisputed number one, with a back four of Thomas Hamer, Sam Hughes, Ryan Sweeney and Steve Seddon becoming extremely settled. Thriving in the holding role, the rejuvenated Deji Oshilaja is the powerhouse and cog in midfield and has allowed Joe Powell to thrive of late. Down the flanks, the promising Mark Helm and Watford loanee Kwadwo Baah are exciting to watch, and will hope to add more goals to their game on top of supplying summer signing Josh Gordon and Mason Bennett.

A sluggish start saw the Brewers go winless in their opening seven, picking up a total of two points – courtesy of draws against Wycombe Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers – in-between defeats to Blackpool, Derby County, Shrewsbury Town, Exeter City and Barnsley, where they failed to score in each game. Ramping up the momentum and rising from the bottom four with a 2-3 success at Port Vale was backed up with a share of the spoils against Fleetwood Town and Reading before Wigan  Athletic were put to the sword 2-1 last time out thanks to Powell’s brace. Now, they’re desperate to extend the two-point gap from the drop and build on a first home league win of the campaign.

Form Guide

Burton Albion: WDWDW

Cambridge United: LLDDL

United’s Approach

The U’s will lick their wounds and look ahead to the next one after crashing to a 0-4 defeat against a clinical Barnsley side at the Abbey last time out.

Strikes in the first half from Nicky Cadden and Mael De Gevigney gave the hosts work to do, who couldn’t muster up a consolation despite a heavy amount of attempts as the Tykes went from strength to strength to put the game to bed courtesy of Max Watters’ drilled finish and Jon Russell’s late curler.

Summarising the 90 minutes, the Head Coach stated, “I actually can’t believe the score’s 0-4 tonight. We’ve lost some games by big scorelines a few times, but that was a fairly even game where both teams have created similar number of chances.”

It extended the run without victory to four for United. However, in isolation, five points attained from a tricky five-game block against four promotion-chasing sides means perspective is needed in that they have remained competitive throughout. With a favourable month ahead, they’ll be eager to keep plugging away and rise up the league, which currently has three points separating 16th from 7th.

Quick Quotes

Bonner on Burton: “They’re certainly finding good form now, it’s taken them a little bit of time… They’ve got direct threats in the team and you can easily be outworked if you’re not at the level. They’ve got a real balance in their game, we always know how tough the games are against them.”

Bonner on the opening ten games: “I think that the progress we’re making is quite vast actually, and with a group of new staff and a whole new team, I think we’re in a good position ten games into the season. We’d have certainly taken that, not only in terms of points scored, but performance levels and progress made.”

Bonner on progression: “Over 46 games we’ve got to get enough results. We’ve had four (wins) in ten, that’s a brilliant result for us. Play that out over the season, you get 16, 17 or maybe 18 wins and finish in the top half. Tell me who wouldn’t accept that right now.”

Team News

The boss remains hopeful that wide duo Sullay Kaikai and Saikou Janneh will both be available for selection after recently returning to full training. Elsewhere, hamstring injuries to Brandon Haunstrup and Elias Kachunga means they will be out of action for three weeks and between six to eight respectively.


Burton Albion Wins: 6

Cambridge United Wins: 7

Draws: 5

Down Memory Lane

Memories from our last meeting at the Pirelli are still fresh, after the penultimate game of last season concluded with what seemed like at the time, a fatal 1-0 defeat.

Despite a spirited start, the U’s were undone on the half an hour mark courtesy of Mark Helm’s solo strike. For all their plethora of chances near the death, they were unable to convert an equaliser and bridge the gap from the drop, with their ranking of 22nd retained heading into the final day. The rest, as they say, is history.

Dejected, but retaining the optimism, Bonner said: “We wanted to take ourselves into a brilliant position on Sunday (Forest Green Rovers) – we’re not in that position now, but it isn’t over... We need other things to go our way, but we’ve got to do our own thing first and win. Fundamentally, we’ve got to turn up, get a result and see where that takes us.”

The defeat terminated a four-game unbeaten run against the Brewers, which had included some high-scoring thrillers over the years, including in the reverse fixture when a Sam Smith hat-trick helped secure a 4-3 win against ten men after Gassan Ahadme had helped take the lead twice.  Altogether, there has been 30 goals in the seven meetings between the sides since United’s Football League return.


Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Assistant Referee: Joe Simpson

Assistant Referee: Daniel Robinson

Fourth Official: Peter Wright

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account