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Cambridge United vs Reading: Match Preview 2023/24

Both teams will want to secure a win in front of the TV cameras.

Cambridge United v Stevenage - Sky Bet League One Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Reading are in front of the Sky Sports cameras for the first time this season as they travel to Cambridge United.

Although Sam Smith is out of action, a former Cambridge player will be heading back to the Abbey Stadium this evening with Harvey Knibbs set to feature for the Royals.

The Berkshire side haven’t enjoyed the best start to this season but they have done reasonably well considering the circumstances and will be looking to pick up three points tonight.

However, Mark Bonner’s side have picked up nine points from five league games this term and will fancy their chances of winning a point or three.

Ahead of this game, we have your match preview.

What? League One Matchday 6

Season? 2023/24

Who? Cambridge United

Where? Abbey Stadium

When? Monday 4th September

Time? 8pm

Opposition Manager? Mark Bonner

The Royals

We did well during the latter stages of the window to bring in Dom Ballard and Clinton Mola, with both addressing key areas that needed to be strengthened.

Mola may be able to play as a central midfielder, but it would have been nice to have brought in another natural option in this area.

In fairness, the addition of another midfielder may have limited Michael Craig’s game time, but bringing in a smidge more experience would have been good.

With all of our young players, we seem to be the Sunderland of League One. Let’s hope we can be just as successful as they were last season when they reached the play-offs!

The Opponents

Cambridge have done reasonably well during the early stages of the campaign and certainly aren’t a team to be underestimated.

They will be especially keen to get a result tonight against Knibbs and Smith - and Michael Morrison will be hoping to haunt his former side.

The hosts can’t be seen as the underdogs despite the fact the Royals have recently been relegated - because the visitors’ away form this year has been shocking.

Sell Before We Dai Update

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions regarding the letter to the EFL. Quite a few of them have been included and we’re up to four pages now!

Some of our main talking points include: how the EFL can punish an owner more than a club, embargoes, administration and the possibility of using the situation at Reading FC as a test case to demonstrate that the Independent Regulator will meet its objective to reform the culture of governance in English football clubs.

We aim to get the letter to the MPs sent off as quickly as possible. All we need to do is add a few finishing touches, fact check and then grammar check!

In terms of protests, whether they go ahead will probably depend on the appetite of the supporters. But that’s just my personal opinion.

Having just a couple of hundred people would make a protest noticeable, but without wanting to pass the buck, it’s not just up to those running the campaign to get one going. The appetite has to be there and the success of protests will depend on wider participation.

Not everyone will want to do something during the game, especially when the situation isn’t desperate at this point. With this in mind, have a protest/match before a match seems to be the most viable option at this point following the sit-in after Peterborough.

Regarding tonight, hopefully we can get a few banners in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

We also aim to put everything that’s been done so far onto the Q&A section of the website.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Button, Mola, Abbey, Bindon, Yiadom, Savage, Hutchinson, Knibbs, Elliott, Ehibhatiomhan, Ballard

Despite a bright performance from Coniah Boyce-Clarke in midweek, David Button seems to be our number one at the moment so he gets a chance to shine again.

At the back, I’d like three changes from the last league game with Clinton Mola coming in for Matt Carson, Tyler Bindon replacing Nelson Abbey and Andy Yiadom coming in as a more natural option at right-back in place of Amadou Mbengue.

Michael Craig nearly retained his starting spot but I’ll go with Charlie Savage and Sam Hutchinson again. It would be good to see Lewis Wing back at some point.

Knibbs faces his former side on the left with Ben Elliott on the right - and Femi Azeez earns a place on the bench. If Dom Ballard and Caylan Vickers weren’t available as options, I’d have played Azeez alongside Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan because he managed to get himself in the right positions up top against Exeter City.

I’m tempted to start Ballard ahead of Vickers - but I won’t be too mad if the latter starts instead of the former.

Score Prediction: Cambridge United 1-1 Reading