After the heartbreak of last Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Forest Green, The U’s are in desperate need of a good result (preferably a win) at the Abbey on Saturday… and what better way to put things back on track than a visit from the league’s table-toppers Plymouth Argyle.
Both sides come into this in dramatically different veins of form. The U’s have gone over three months without a league home win and goal and are in somewhat of a freefall down the table, however their performance against a strong West Ham side on Tuesday could be a catalyst to spark a turn in fortunes. The Argyle on the other hand are riding high at the summit of the table, their consistent form has seen them sneak ahead of Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday by only two points. A win on Saturday for both teams is absolutely crucial.
After a strong performance against West Ham on Tuesday night, Mark Bonner could potentially make ample changes to the side that was edged out by Forest Green last week though it is unlikely based on recent lineups. Saturday’s goalscorer Saikou Janneh will no doubt sit on the bench alongside Jack Lankester and Lewis Simper once again after the trio impressed midweek, and Zeno Ibsen Rossi could make the starting XI after marking his return from injury with a goal against the Hammers.
Expected U’s Line Up: Mannion; Williams, Rossi, Jones, Dunk; Digby, Worman; Tracey, Knibbs, Brophy; Big Joe.
Who’s Their Player To Watch? Morgan Whittaker has been a real factor in Plymouth’s rise to the top of League One. The Swansea loanee has chipped in with crucial goals this season against rivals Exeter, Ipswich and Derby, as well as assisting five along the way.
Who’s In The Dugout? Steven Schumacher took up the reins at Plymouth in December 2021 after the departure of Ryan Lowe. His first managerial position, he has been named Manager of the Month three times as well as being linked for every managerial vacancy going.
What’s Their Recent Form Like? Two wins, two draws and a recent defeat at home to Port Vale.
Any Ex-United Players? Lockdown legend Callum Burton is the backup keeper at Home Park.
Last Time Out: U’s 2-0 Plymouth, 22 Feb 2022
The U’s stunned a strong Plymouth side with a deserved win. Lankester and Smith on the scoresheet… same again Saturday?
From The Archive: U’s 1-0 Plymouth, 9 August 2014
Donaldson… Appiah… Coulson. Those were the days. A 1-0 win on our return to the Football League.
A Matchday Album To Listen To: Fred Again.. – Actual Life 3
The third full-length release from the hottest prospect in UK dance music. Inspired by real-life conversations and voice notes, it’s by far one of the stand-out records of 2022.
Perhaps last season’s home game might offer a ray of hope? If Bonner adopts the same tactics which beat Plymouth last season, maybe that’s reason to be hopeful of a positive result again today. More generally, there seems to be this drift towards relegation that’s going unchecked. I don’t detect much fight to get out of the current situation and I wonder if nothing changes, will the board be forced to act or will they accept we’re punching above our weight being in league 1 and accept relegation on that basis?! Hopefully a positive result today can be a platform to start progressing again……