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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Cambridge United

We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

23 March 2018

United will be looking to make it seven games unbeaten this weekend as Cambridge United come to Brunton Park.

After dropping two points on home soil against Crawley last weekend, Keith Curle’s side will be desperate to get back to winning ways after some positive results of late. 

But they will be faced with a resurgent Cambridge side who have improved under the leadership of Joe Dunne. 

We cast our eye over the U’s ahead of their trip to Cumbria: 

Winless in Four 

While Cambridge have undergone something of a resurgence since Dunne’s appointment, their more recent form will not please the new manager. 

It did look positive for the Abbey Stadium side as picked up three consecutive wins in February, brusing aside Chesterfield, Grimsby and promotion-chasing Notts County. 

But the U’s haven’t won in their last four outings in a run of form which has seen them slide down to 14th in Sky Bet League Two.

Dunne will therefore be looking for his side to bounce back when they face the play-off chasing Blues. 

Familiar faces 

Two of United’s more prolific forwards from the last few seasons may well be lining up in amber and black at the Abbey Stadium this Saturday with both David Amoo and Jabo Ibehre now on Cambridge’s books. 

Amoo joined United from Tranmere in 2013 and immediately became a fans’ favourite as his pace and finishing ability captured the imagination of the Brunton Park faithful. The former Liverpool youngster spent two years in Cumbria, during which time he netted 16 goals in all competitions. He moved to Cambridge last summer following a spell at Patrick Thistle. 

Another popular player with United fans, Ibehre made the move from the North West to the Abbey Stadium this summer after enjoying a fruitful two-year spell with the Cumbrians. After making the move from Colchester United Ibehre made 53 appearances and scored 31 goals before moving south. 

Neither has been a regular this season, but both will undoubtedly be keen to find the net against their former club. 

Twenty years and waiting … 

It’s been over twenty years since United managed to claim all three points against Cambridge at Brunton Park. 

The Blues’ last six meetings with the U’s on home soil have failed to produce a single victory with Carlisle’s last home win over Cambridge coming in November 1996 as Lee Peacock, Allan Smart and Warren Aspinall netted in a 3-0 win. 

We’ve met Cambridge 27 times in total, all of which have come in the league. The U’s have been victorious on eight occasions, while the Blues have also ran out winners in eight of the encounters. 11 of our meetings have been draws. 

Our meeting earlier this season ended in a Carlisle win, as goals from Reggie Lambe and Tom Parkes helped the Blues to a 2-1 win.

Watch highlights of the 2-1 away win from August here:

Ones to Watch 

+ Billy Waters - A player who has previous in this division, having excelled at Cheltenham Town last season where he netted 16 times in all competitions. That earned him a move to Northampton Town last summer but, having failed to pin down a regular starting place at the Cobblers, he joined Cambridge on loan looking to recapture his best form. And his time at the Abbey Stadium has begun well with the creative midfielder putting in some eye-catching performances. 

+ Uche Ikpeazu – A powerful and pacy striker Ikpeazu could well lead the line alone for the U’s this weekend and has proven himself as a fine forward at this level. Formerly of Watford, Crewe, Doncaster and Port Vale, the imposing striker will be looking to add to his tally this weekend having netted 14 goals already this season. On his day, he can certainly be a handful for United’s backline. 

+ David Forde - A promotion winner from this division with Portsmouth last season, the goalkeeper will bring some valuable experience to the U’s side after joining this summer. A long-serving stopper at Millwall, he made over 300 appearances at the Den before making a loan switch to Pompey last season. Forde kept 19 clean sheets last season and he’ll no doubt prove a reliable last line of defence for Cambridge this season. He has also been capped by the Republic of Ireland.


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