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Match Previews


We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

23 February 2018

Back-to-back victories have put United firmly back in play-off contention, and the Blues can take another step towards the top seven when they take on Yeovil Town this Saturday.

The midweek win at Barnet saw Carlisle reduce the gap between them and the last play-off place to seven points, and Keith Curle will be hoping there’s a further reduction this weekend. 

But standing in their way are a Yeovil side keen to put even more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

We put Darren Way’s men under the spotlight ahead of our visit to Huish Park:

Steady Performances 

Yeovil’s season arguably couldn’t have got off to a worse start, thanks to an 8-2 drubbing away at Luton on the opening day, but they’ve recovered from that early setback well. 

The Glovers sit in 17th place in Sky Bet League Two, with an eleven point gap between them and the bottom two. 

Recent form has been encouraging too, with the Glovers losing just one of their last six games in all competitions – a 4-1 defeat to Stevenage last weekend. 

That run has also seen Yeovil reach the semi-final of the Checkatrade Trophy in another boost for Way’s side. 

Familiar Faces 

There could well be a couple of ex-Blues lining up against United at Huish Park this weekend. 

Popular striker Francois Zoko spent two years in Cumbria and has been a pivotal part of the Yeovil team this season – netting ten goals. 

Yeovil’s captain is also a recognisable figure, with James Bailey being handed the armband at Huish Park after joining Way’s side from the Blues this summer. 

The experienced midfielder joined Carlisle midway through last season and featured prominently as the Blues reached the play-off semi-finals. 

What Does History Tell Us? 

The two sides have met regularly in recent years - and it’s United who have the better of the meetings. 

Of the 23 times the pair have faced off, the Cumbrians have claimed victory in 11 of them with Yeovil triumphant on seven occasions. 

Recent form certainly favours Carlisle, too, with the Blues unbeaten in their last eleven meetings against the Glovers. 

Last season saw two United victories, including a 2-0 victory at Huish Park and a 2-1 success at Brunton Park in the final home game before Christmas. 

This season’s meeting ended in another triumph for the Blues, as they registered a comprehensive 4-0 win at Brunton Park. 

Watch the highlights from the home win against Yeovil Town earlier this season here:

Huish Hoodoo Banished 

A few years ago, a trip to Huish Park would have been far from a tantalising prospect as United struggled to find form on their trips to Somerset. 

But the tide has turned in this decade, with the Blues yet to lose on their five trips to Yeovil since the 2011/12 season. 

Can that fine away form continue this weekend? Keith Curle will certainly be hoping so. 

Ones to Watch 

+ Nathan Smith – Yeovil’s record appearance maker in the EFL, Smith’s versatility at the back has seen him playing on the left hand side and centrally this campaign. He initially joined the Glovers in 2007 and, barring a short spell at Chesterfield, has served the club with distinction ever since. Strong, quick and comfortable on the ball, he’s a real asset for Way’s backline. 

+ Otis Khan - With six goals to his name already this season, Khan has continued the remarkable form that saw him become a fans’ favourite during his first season in Somerset. Formerly of Manchester United and Barnsley, the winger joined the Glovers last season and impressed with some lively attacking displays, earning him a contract extension ahead of the new campaign. He comes alive around the area and isn’t afraid to shoot from distance - United will need to be wary. 

+ Connor Smith - A summer addition, the central midfielder joined on a free transfer from Plymouth Argyle and has been a regular in the first team this season. Formerly of Watford, Smith has already been promoted from League Two twice, with the Pilgrims and AFC Wimbledon. That experience will undoubtedly be useful as Yeovil look to surge up the table.

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