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Cambridge United
League One | Gameweek 35
Feb 24, 2024 at 12pm UK
Abbey Stadium
Peterborough United

0 - 1

Lankester (17'), Morrison (58'), Bennett (65'), Andrew (79')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Mason-Clark (55')
Knight (70'), Katongo (90+4')

Preview: Cambridge United vs. Peterborough United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Cambridge United and Peterborough United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Aiming to arrest a concerning slump in their form and maintain their standing in the top six of the League One table, Peterborough United will make the short trip to take on rivals Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors have fallen behind in the race for promotion following four straight defeats in England's third tier, while their hosts dropped to 17th spot after a loss of their own last weekend and will begin life without manager Neil Harris.

Match preview

Cambridge United's Jack Lankester celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 6, 2024© Reuters

Following the midweek departure of manager Harris, Cambridge United head into the weekend aiming to increase their cushion in a tight bottom half of the League One table, in their bid to avoid relegation in relatively comfortable fashion this term.

After finishing 20th on 46 points last time around, the U's currently occupy 17th spot having already collected 38 points from their first 32 outings, winning 10 of those while suffering 14 defeats.

Following a four-game unbeaten streak between mid-January and early February, that tally stood at 35 points from 28 games, but Cambridge have since hit a tougher spell, with three of their 14 losses coming in the last four attempts, firstly falling to a 1-0 defeat at home to a resurgent Cheltenham Town side and a 3-1 beating away at league leaders Portsmouth.

The Us would then bounce back in style with a 4-0 triumph away at strugglers Carlisle United last weekend, with Sullay Kaikai, Elias Kachunga and Ryan Bennett on the scoresheet alongside a Sam Lavelle own goal, before most recently hosting promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday and succumbing to a narrow 2-1 defeat having led until half time only to eventually come away empty-handed.

Now under the temporary stewardship of Barry Corr following Harris's departure to join Millwall on Wednesday, Cambridge United find themselves 17th with a six-point lead over the drop zone while only trailing Reading and Wycombe Wanderers on goal difference, and they will now bid to further improve their standing with a return to winning ways at the Abbey Stadium.

Peterborough United's manager Darren Ferguson reacts on January 7, 2024© Reuters

They meet a Peterborough United side who will desperately bid to correct their league form on the back of a midweek cup victory, having quickly dropped behind League One's frontrunners.

Following an eye-catching start to the campaign in their bid to win automatic promotion to the Championship this term, Darren Ferguson's side sat in a strong position in the top-two fight after 28 games, as a 12-game unbeaten streak including eight wins left them on 56 points at the end of January.

The Posh have since experienced a major rut, though, falling behind the pack following four straight league defeats, as they firstly fell at home to Wigan Athletic and away at Exeter City before suffering a 5-2 beating at the hands of 15th-placed Wycombe Wanderers, having reduced a deficit to 3-2 through David Ajiboye and Ricky-Jade Jones 20 minutes from time.

Seeking to end that concerning run and stay in the fight for automatic promotion, they most recently hosted Blackpool last weekend and fell to a fourth straight loss, despite going ahead through Hector Kyprianou, as Shayne Lavery drew their visitors level and Karamoko Dembele netted an injury-time winner, before they were at least able to avenge that result in midweek and progress to the EFL Trophy final with a 3-0 away win over Blackpool, courtesy of Malik Mothersille's opener and Harrison Burrows's late brace.

With the trip to Wembley booked, Peterborough United turn their focus back to League One with their previous pole position in the top-two fight now reduced to a slender three-point lead over seventh place in the playoff race while trailing second-placed Derby County by 10 points, and they will bid to at least return to winning ways to ensure they remain in the top six of England's third tier heading into the run-in.

Cambridge United League One form:

Peterborough United League One form:

Peterborough United form (all competitions):

Team News

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson on February 19, 2022© Reuters

Cambridge United will be unable to call on attacker Lyle Taylor on Saturday, after he was sent off in a substitute appearance in their defeat to Bolton Wanderers in midweek, meaning Gillingham loanee Macauley Bonne will again lead the line in his search for a first goal for the club since his January arrival.

Indeed, Barry Corr may field an unchanged starting XI from that match given the quick turnaround from Harris's exit, with James Brophy, Elias Kachunga and Sullay Kaikai set to continue in a supporting trio behind the lone front man.

Elsewhere, Jordan Cousins should continue alongside mainstay Paul Digby in the engine room, while Ryan Bennett and Michael Morrison form an experienced centre-back pairing.

Darren Ferguson fielded a strong Peterborough United side for their EFL Trophy tie away at Blackpool on Tuesday, and we should see a similar starting XI at the weekend, albeit with Hector Kyprianou likely to return from the outset at the base of the midfield.

Ricky-Jade Jones should also return and start up front, despite Malik Mothersille getting on the scoresheet in a rare start, while the lone striker has plenty of support from the likes of Ephron Mason-Clark, Kwame Poku and Joel Randall.

Harrison Burrows, who netted a brace on Tuesday and boasts 10 League One assists so far this term, will offer further threat from the left-hand side of a back four, while Ronnie Edwards and Josh Knight are mainstays at the heart of the defence.

Cambridge United possible starting lineup:
Stevens; L Bennett, R Bennett, Morrison, Andrew; Cousins, Digby; Kaikai, Kachunga, Brophy; Bonne

Peterborough United possible starting lineup:
Steer; Katongo, Knight, Edwards, Burrows; Randall, Kyprianou; Poku, Randall, Mason-Clark; Jones

SM words green background

We say: Cambridge United 1-3 Peterborough United

Peterborough United's recent league form is certainly concerning, but they possess the quality to bounce back to winning ways in style, particularly on the back of a confidence-boosting midweek win to book a trip to Wembley.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS
2Derby CountyDerby452781076373989
3Bolton WanderersBolton452511983483586
4Peterborough UnitedPeterborough442581186563083
6Lincoln CityLincoln4520141165382774
7Oxford UnitedOxford Utd4521111377552274
10Leyton Orient451711175054-462
11Wycombe WanderersWycombe441613155854461
12Exeter CityExeter451710184559-1461
13Wigan AthleticWigan451910166156559
14Northampton TownNorthampton45178205665-959
15Bristol Rovers45169205266-1457
16Charlton AthleticCharlton451120146464053
18Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury45139233464-3048
19Cambridge UnitedCambridge441210223860-2246
20Burton Albion451210233964-2546
21Cheltenham TownCheltenham44118253863-2541
RFleetwood TownFleetwood45913234672-2640
RPort Vale451010254174-3340
RCarlisle UnitedCarlisle4579294179-3830

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