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Match Previews

Match Preview: Reading vs U's

15 March 2024

Match Previews

Match Preview: Reading vs U's

15 March 2024

Cambridge United are out to change their fortunes this weekend as they take on Reading in an important Sky Bet League One clash at the Madejski Stadium…

How to Watch

Approximately 1,000 U’s fans will make the trip to Berkshire for Saturday’s tie, which gets underway at 3pm.

Those who wish to join the sea of amber can purchase their tickets online at or over the phone by calling 01223 566500 (option 1). Alternatively, tickets will be available on the day at a £4 price increase.

Unable to attend? Fans in the UK can listen to full match commentary with iFollow or on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, whilst overseas supporters can stream the game live with an iFollow Video Match Pass.

Opposition Focus

Formed during the festive period of 1871, the hosts gradually built up steam towards 1895, where they turned professional and would go on to enjoy 22 seasons in the Southern League and gain some FA Cup exploits in the process. After gaining election to the Football League in 1920, the club have not looked back since. Predominantly a Third Division outfit throughout the course of their history, a spellbinding record-breaking 106 points in 2005/06 saw them storm to the Championship title, before finishing a remarkable 8th in their first ever season in the Premier League. Returning for just a sole season since (2012), the Royals’ 10-year stay in the second tier came to an end last time out, with their League One venture proving tricky to navigate - but the signs are there that the side can consolidate first and foremost in spite of behind-the-scenes turmoil.

Under the tutelage of Rubén Sellés, who at just 40 has already obtained brief experience coaching in the top flight, Reading’s youthful and vibrant side have been hard-working and adaptable. Not short of experience, goalkeeper David Button could return to the sticks and should have Amadaou Mbengue and Tyler Bindon, just 22 and 19 respectively, in the middle of defence with bombing full-backs Jeriel Dorsett and Clinton Mola either side. The two protectors are the silky Charlie Savage and all-action Lewis Wing, who set the tone for attacks. Ben Elliot and Femi Azeez are out wide and form part of a back four which contains familiar faces Harvey Knibbs, on 16 goal involvements this season, and Sam Smith, who too is in fine fettle having bulged the onion bag ten times.

A streaky start to life in the third tier saw the Royals lose their opening two, win the following two with successive clean sheets, before successive defeats followed – including the reverse. This started a nasty streak, where the side recorded one victory from 12, which included six consecutive losses in October to put them rock bottom. From here, fortunes flipped – a 5-1 battering against Carlisle United helped form a run of one defeat from nine heading into 2024. A corner was clearly turned, a slender 1-0 loss to Wigan Athletic was backed up by a six-match unbeaten streak, with momentum propelled. Most recently, Reading have succumbed to four defeats and two wins from six, they’re in 18th due to their six-point deduction, sitting with a five-point gap from the bottom four.

Form Guide

Reading: WLWLL

Cambridge United: LLLDL

United’s Approach

It was a night to forget last time out as Lincoln City condemned the U’s to a humbling 6-0 defeat at Sincil Bank.

A third-minute strike from Jack Moylan set the tone for a disastrous night for the visitors, who simply couldn’t respond as the Imps powered to the win in the second half as Moylan and Joe Taylor grabbed a brace, before Timothy Eyoma and Dylan Duffy rubbed salt in the wounds near the death.

Examining the result, Garry Monk stated, “It's food for thought for me. I maybe need to reassess. I like to attack but I maybe need a different strategy away from home… One thing we’ll do is stick together; I know there’s more than enough in that changing room – I think they know it. We need to work to make sure they can bring it out and build confidence.”

A rapid response will be the task this weekend, as the U’s sit in 20th with a five-point gap from the drop zone, the exact same predicament as the hosts. With nine matches left and 27 points to fight for, heading into a two-week break with a first victory in seven would do United the world of good.


Reading Wins: 10

Cambridge United Wins: 10

Draws: 6

Down Memory Lane

A memorable evening under the Abbey floodlights, and in front of the Sky Sports cameras, saw Cambridge make a real statement in September as they clinched a commendable 1-0 triumph.

The U’s piled on the pressure from the get-go and built on a positive first half by gaining a deserved winner late in a scorching night through substitute Fejiri Okenabirhie, who thundered home his fourth strike of the season to rise his side into the top six.

Prior to that, the sides last pitted their wits back in September 2002 when United progressed to the Second Round of the League Cup after dispatching the Royals 3-1 courtesy of goals from Andy Duncan, Dave Kitson and Shane Tudor. The unbeaten run is now at three games, with the U’s plotting a first ever win at Saturday’s venue on what will be their fourth attempt.


Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Assistant Referee: Sean Rothwell

Assistant Referee: Samuel Fudge

Fourth Official: Stuart Butler

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