There’s probably no better time to play Yeovil Town than right now. Having lost six on the bounce, they find themselves steaming full pelt into the relegation battle we all expected at the start of the season. That, however, doesn’t mean this is one of the biggest games of our season. A verified six-pointer, blue tick and all.
The Glovers are in some serious financial troubles and their heady days in the Championship seem like a long, long time ago; a bygone relic. The feeling among fans seems to be this catastrophic fall from grace (or return to a normal state of affairs, you decide) is something that has been coming for a while. Having started this campaign relatively well, they now find themselves the out-of-form side in the division and looking at next season back in non-league.
This will be our 8th meeting since the U’s have returned to the Football League, with the three visits to Huish Park resulting in one win, one draw, and one loss, that being Shaun Derry’s last away game in charge of the U’s. I’m aware that statistic tells you absolutely nothing, but I’m trying to find something concrete to go on other than gut feeling. I’m struggling.
Looking at the U’s, it seems a bit mental to be going into this game with confidence. Not just Tuesday night in Cheltenham, which pointed us back in the direction of a relegation battle, but also our away form all season. We’ve still only scored 10 (ten) goals away from the Abbey, and have conceded the second-most in the league (33) behind only career mercenaries Notts County (37). Calderwood has spoken about the need to turn away performances around, and he’s not wrong. It seems fairly reasonable to say that if we can’t turn it around at Yeovil, I struggle to see us doing it at Grimsby, Bury, or Carlisle, and that could spell real trouble. Again.
So, huge game, huge three points on the cards for both teams. Yeovil will know that this is one of the crucial chances they have left to get some much-needed points on the board before it’s too late, and the U’s need to start looking at our run of fixtures in March and think it is also essential we come out of this with nothing less than all three points, especially with Maris and Halliday looking fit to return after the spate of changes on Tuesday night.
Oh, Yeovil also love drawing Man United at home in the cup. Better luck getting something out of it next time, eh lads?
Last Three Results:
16/02 – Lost 3-0 vs FGR (A)
12/02 – Lost 4-1 vs Oldham (A)
09/02 – Lost 3-1 vs Grimsby (H)
Nickname Rating: 7/10 The Glovers – I don’t mind it, mate.
Key Player: Alex Fisher
It’s hard to really pick a player out here, a bit like deciding what Soviet-era car you’d have to drive for the rest of your life – a lot of names you recognise, absolutely nothing you want. Alex Fisher seems the closest shout; he’s had an interesting and varied career across Spain, Italy, Belgium and Scotland, with a very decent goal return throughout a lot of it. He seems the dangerman in this Yeovil side. I was very tempted to put Francois Zoko here, who although is always cited as a ‘decent player’, has managed to play 18 games this season (14 starts, 1151 minutes) and notched 0 goals. That, right there, is the story of Yeovil’s season.
On The Bench: Darren Way
Having played for Yeovil for almost the entirety of his career (207 appearances), Way is clearly a man with his heart invested in the club. This is his first managerial role, taking over from Paul Sturrock in December of 2015, and he has managed to keep his job ever since despite a win rate of 29.5%. It tells you a lot that scraping Football League status is considered an achievement by the hierarchy at Yeovil.
2-0 U’s – Even though our away form is what it is, I can’t help but think we’ll just have too much for a side that will probably need some sort of minor miracle to stay up. Fundamentally, we have more difference makers than them, and if any of Jevani, Rush, Maris, or Amoo fancy it, we should wrap this up pretty easily. We also have a habit of winning when it really, really matters (I’m thinking almost exclusively of Notts here).
P.S. – I’m more than ready for all of the above to come and bite me on the arse when we get creamed 3-0 and are staring right down the barrel of the National League’s gun again. We’re good at helping teams end a bad run of form, after all.
SHIT TIP OF THE WEEK:
George Maris – First Goalscorer 11/1 with FansBet
Having sat out at the defeat in Cheltenham on Tuesday night, we fancy George to get back to business and control the game from midfield. It was clear we missed him on Tuesday, and he could well be the crucial difference-maker, bringing a touch of class and control to United’s game. We’re banking on another belter à la Oldham (A).
Remember to bet with FansBet and help keep UTAS running and as miserable as ever. Sign up here and choose Cambridge United then Under The Abbey Stand: https://www.fansbet.com/en/betting