Friday, 15 September 2017

That Preview Thing: Cambridge United

It's been a while since I've done anything other than a match report, not having a working laptop has its limitations. Not to fear though, we are but days away from constant Coventry City coverage from Shooting to Win, with this just being a slight taste of what's to come. Previews are something I've been keen on doing for a while, and with the good form we've been displaying, there's no time like the present.



Coming off the back of two solid wins against Port Vale and Carlisle, we travel to The Abbey Stadium needing to be at our absolute best if a win is to be on the cards. We seem to have got a hold of home form, but we've got one of each in our three league away games so far. A 2-0 win at Grimsby, 0-0 draw at Chesterfield and of course that painful 2-0 loss at Yeovil. Let me tell you, that 5 hour trip back was not fun by any stretch.

But one thing that our away results so far tell us is that we can't possibly predict the result by going off them. So basically we know that we know absolutely nothing at all. Incredible preview analysis coming at you right here. Being serious, we need to go in knowing that anything could spring from the fixture, meaning we have to be on red alert at all times.

Last Time Out

I've already touched on it slightly but on Tuesday night we saw off Carlisle in a standard 2-0 victory with goals coming courtesy of The Duck and Peter Vincenti's shin. Albeit the wide midfielders goal was a tad comedic he's got the monkey off his back and is in the perfect position to press on. What I'd really like was if he scored a header, many times this season has he tried and failed.

The Duck still had a lot to do from when he picked up the ball from Liam Kelly for his goal, he did extremely well though to skip through their defence and stab it home. You can't mention our good performances without giving at least a brief shout out to the star of the show Jodi Jones. He's been free to explode down the wing in the last couple of games which really does make a massive difference.

Perhaps surprisingly, Tom Davies was awarded the man of the match award, he wouldn't have been my personal choice but it's good to see that even when our first choice is out of contention we have solid replacements. Lee Burge is yet to concede a goal since coming back into the side and has produced some mouthwatering stops yet still he receives tremendous amounts of stick from some fans.

This is something which really angers me, because he's honestly not done anything wrong. Now that I've said this however he's going to end up making a massive howler and all of his good work will be in tatters with all of his haters having ammunition for the next two years. Long may the best defence in the league record continue.

Last Meeting

Cambridge United 4-0 Coventry City
Berry (7', 29', 38' 86')
4th December 2016
FA Cup Second Round

Who could forget the Luke Berry demolition job that went down in the cup last season, an absolute shambles. The whole squad was booed off, there was a chorus of anti owner chants as well as a brief rendition of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". A day which will go down in folklore as one of the many, MANY, low points of this football club.

The worst part of it all? That wasn't even the worst performance of that season, sure, the score may have been the worst. Just 2 weeks previous we went to Oxford United and got it handed to us 4-1, and honestly, it could have been so many more. Hopefully we'll be able to break the voodoo of travelling to the "Big University" sides on Saturday.

Potential Starting XI (4-2-3-1):

Burge

Grimmer
Willis
McDonald
Stokes

Doyle
Kelly

Jones
Nazon
Vincenti

Beavon

I'm just expecting the one change ahead of the game and that's Rod McDonald returning to the fold after completing his suspension. Up until the red card against Port Vale he had a very solid performance, whether the actual decision warranted a red is a completely different debate which I've worn out on a few occasions. Whilst Tom Davies had a good game on Tuesday I don't particularly trust him enough in a starting spot given the almost own goal in the dying seconds against Vale.

The Duck (Nazon) is really going to have to step up now that Tony Andreu is out for the rest of the season, which was news that hit the Shooting to Win household extremely hard. Get well soon Tony. It's likely Beavon will line up as the lone striker with The Duck in behind as the number 10 but there's every possibility Biamou might get a serious chance. This is unlikely as Robins and Beavon seem to have a Pressley/Webster, Slade/N Clarke, Mowbray/Tudgay sort of bond.

Then again, if neither are able to produce the goods then Jordan Ponticelli is waiting in the wings eager for a chance in the first team. Ryan Haynes is also rumoured to be making a return from injury any game now and if teams go from seeing Vincenti on the left to the ginger wizard then they won't know what's hit them. That is as long as we don't throw him at full back in a pointless game of tug of war with Stokes.

The Opposition

Very early on in pre-season we teased on Twitter that we were about to announce our second signing of the summer, given the rumours that had been circulating in the days previous, everyone was alomost certain it was Gary Deegan. People were livid at even the thought of him making a return, but the signing turned out to be Marc McNulty, and Deegan went on to sign for none other than Cambridge United.

Other than that I can't find any links off the top of my head, does Dion Dublin still play for us? No? Shaun Derry confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Adebayo Azeez will be out for a while after picking up knee ligament damage. They managed just fine without him however on Tuesday night by picking up a huge 3 points away at high flying Crewe Alexandra, taking them up to tenth.

It's also been 231 minutes since David Forde last conceded a goal, meaning we will have to be at our absolute best to break down 'The Amber Wall'. The stats are pointing towards a key defensive battle, whether Jodi Jones and co. will be able to toy with the full backs and find a way in remains to be seen, the hosts have been very unpredictable but have steadied the ship since August turned into September.

Prediction

It's a tough one to call, we're on a high but we're also the biggest club in the league which Cambridge will be looking to stop from progressing up the table. I think whoever (if anyone) scores first will win the match given the previously aforementioned records for both sides. Azeez is a big miss, but equally so are McNulty and Andreu. It could go either way, but I'm in a good mood so why not be a little optimistic.

Cambridge United 0-1 Coventry City

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