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Match Previews

Match Preview: U's vs Peterborough

23 February 2024

Match Previews

Match Preview: U's vs Peterborough

23 February 2024

The Cledara Abbey Stadium hosts the latest instalment of the Cambridgeshire Derby this weekend as Cambridge United host Peterborough United in what promises to be an electric Sky Bet League One encounter…

Under the tutelage of Interim Head Coach Barry Corr, the U’s look to make an instant return to winning ways and get one over their rivals, who approach the match off the back of a four-game losing streak in the third tier.

How to Watch

Saturday afternoon’s tussle, which gets underway at an earlier time of 12pm, is expected to be played out in front of a sold-out CB5.

Just a few hundred tickets remain in the ground, so fans are advised to ensure their place online at cufctickets.com or over the phone by calling 01223 566500 (option 1) as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

For all of the latest news regarding sales, be sure to keep your notifications on for the U’s Ticket Office Account on X.

Opposition Focus

Founded in 1934 at a meeting in the Angel Hotel, local councillor Jack Swain had high hopes for the future of the newly-founded club, who filled the void left by Peterborough and Fletton United’s collapse 19 months earlier. Beginning in green shirts, the side would remain in the Midland League until 1960, where they were elected to the Football League following five consecutive titles. Momentum continued, Posh immediately established themselves as a Third Division side, even reaching the FA Cup quarter-final in 1965 and the League Cup semi-final the following year but fluctuated until 1992, where they reached the second tier for the first time. Since the turn of the millennium, they’ve yo-yoed, but Darren Ferguson has spearheaded the visitors to four promotions since 2008. Although their Championship stay was short-lived in 2021/22, they hope to go one better than last season’s play-off semi-final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and stage a return. Hopes are positive after securing a trip to Wembley in midweek in the EFL Trophy, but can they back it up with promotion?

Lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Jed Steer is now here to stay and is likely to don the sticks, with a very well-balanced back four of Jadel Katongo, Josh Knight, Ronnie Edwards and Harrison Burrows ahead of him. Offering protection, Hector Kyprianou and Archie Collins have been mainstays in the middle of the park, chipping in with defensive duties and their share of goals, but it’s in the attacking ranks that Posh thrive. Former Exeter City man Joel Randall adds the industry and flair in the middle, with livewire wingers Kwame Poku and Ephron Mason-Clark – each with 15 goal involvements – either side. A range of strikers at their disposal means all of the dangerous Jonson Clarke-Harris, improving Ricky-Jade Jones and Malik Mothersille are all fighting to earn a start.

A streaky introduction to Peterborough’s campaign saw them win their first three on the spin before falling victim to three successive losses against Northampton Town, Derby County and Portsmouth. Their form from here, in truth, was remarkable, as they ventured towards a run which included 13 wins, eight draws and the solitary defeat between September to February. A recent 12-match unbeaten streak was terminated by Wigan Athletic, which was the first of four consecutive defeats heading into this weekend. As a result, Ferguson’s men are down to 6th with just a three-point advantage inside the play-offs to protect.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: WLLWL

Peterborough United: LLLLW

United’s Approach

In midweek, the U’s were forced into defeat at the Abbey as promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers battled to a 1-2 comeback victory.

Starting in the ascendency, United’s counter was causing problems and helped create the early opener when Sullay Kaikai’s angled attempt was heavily deflected goal-bound by Eoin Toal. Unable to build on a positive first half, the Trotters came out from the break all guns blazing and secured the turnaround courtesy of Paris Maghoma and Carlos Mendes Gomes, who navigated the conclusion well against the U’s after they ended the game with ten men following Lyle Taylor’s dismissal.

The encounter proved to be Neil Harris’ last as Head Coach, with his 77 days in charge coming to an end on Wednesday following Millwall’s approach. He stated after the whistle: “We played really well in the first half against a really, really top side and we ended strongly in the last 20 minutes… Tonight, we gave a really good account of themselves.”

It’s been a busy week of preparation for the U’s, who have now lost three of their last four, but they’ll be determined to shake off defeat with a morale-boosting result against their rivals and reward Corr, who takes the reins for the first time since the 4-0 cup thumping vs Fleetwood Town in December.

Head-to-Head

Cambridge United Wins: 15

Peterborough United Wins: 19

Draws: 11

Down Memory Lane

It was an afternoon to forget last time out between the sides as Posh powered to a ruthless 5-0 victory at the Weston Homes Stadium.

The U’s started in a positive manner, but a devastating six-minute spell on the eve of half-time from the hosts saw them steam ahead thanks to Ephron Mason-Clark’s brace and Kwame Poku’s strike. Unable to muster a response, the hosts remained on top, with the latter grabbing his second moments after the break before an own goal near the death compounded a testing day out.

Leaving a bitter taste, it’s a loss they’re still hurting from - but Saturday poses an excellent challenge to put that behind them and, just like last campaign, use home advantage to take the game to Posh and claim not just points but pride too.

Officials

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Assistant Referee: Garry Maskell

Assistant Referee: Michael Webb

Fourth Official: Conor Farrell


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