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Match Previews

Cambridge United (A)

20 February 2018

Notts County travel to managerless Cambridge United looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games in Sky Bet League Two.

The Magpies picked up a solid point with a goalless draw at Newport at the weekend to go with their 2-1 win over Carlisle United last Tuesday night.

A win would leave County a point adrift of the automatic promotion places heading into the weekend's fixtures.

Cambridge have been revitalised under interim head coach Joe Dunne, who took on the role following the departure of former Notts boss Shaun Derry earlier this month.

The Us have won both of their games under the Irishman, scoring three goals in each outing to move to within eight points of the play-off places.

Another win would do no harm to Dunne's chances of getting the job on a permanent basis and a late charge into the top seven would be hard for the new hierarchy at the Abbey Stadium to ignore.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says...

"It will be a nice pitch, similar to ours, because they like to play the ball so I am hoping for a different game to Saturday.

"If you keep going under and losing games away from home, you can come unstuck.

"If you keep plugging away and take draws rather than losses it can give you a bit of momentum and confidence."

Cambridge interim head coach Joe Dunne says...

 "Tuesday presents another huge test for us. It will be an incredibly tough game and a wonderful challenge for us to take on.

"They will 100% be in the mix for automatic promotion come the end of the season and every game for them now is crucial.

"Notts proved their worth and how strongly they finish games [in December]."

Team news

Striker Shola Ameobi is available for selection after sitting out the trip to Newport County at the weekend.

Defender Shaun Brisley is also back to full fitness after recovering from a bug but could be kept out of the team for a second consecutive game by Brighton loanee Ben Hall.

The hosts will be without striker Barry Corr, who was withdrawn from Saturday's win over Grimsby Town with an undisclosed injury, while George Maris also missed out with a head injury.

There was good news for the Us, though, as Leon Legge, Piero Mingoia and Jabo Ibehre all returned to training ahead of the game.

Dangerman

Uche Ikpeazu left Watford after six loan spells in the summer of 2016 in search of first-team football and hasn't looked back since Cambridge took a punt on the powerful striker.

Initially signed on a short-term deal, the 22-year-old made an impressive start to life at the Abbey Stadium and penned a new contract until the summer of 2018 in October 2016.

The frontman had already made close to 80 EFL appearances before signing for Shaun Derry's team from his loan spells with Crewe Alexandra, Doncaster Rovers, Port Vale and Blackpool.

A 12-goal return so far this season has eclipsed his tally from the last campaign and, should he hit a purple patch in front of goal, the youngster could well reach the 20-goal landmark.

We've met before...

Notts have not enjoyed good fortune against the Us in recent years, winning none of the last six meetings between the sides.

Indeed, their last win against United came in November 2004, when Matt Williams and Chris Palmer secured a 2-1 victory.

County's last win away to Cambridge was even further back, in January 2002, when Darren Caskey and Paul Heffernan were both on target in a 2-0 success.

The last outing between the teams was a memorable one as Notts came from 3-0 down to rescue a point at Meadow Lane.

Uche Ikpeazu's strike and Jevani Brown's brace put the visitors in command but the Magpies hit back as Lewis Alessandra, Shaun Brisley and Jonathan Forte secured a last-gasp draw.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 13/8 odds-against favourites while the hosts are 17/10 to take all three points. The draw is available at 9/4.

A 1-0 success can be backed at 7/1 or a 2-0 win is available at 11/1. A goal-laden 3-2 victory for the Magpies is 33/1.

Sky Bet offer odds of 4/1 on Notts winning the game with both teams scoring or 7/2 to keep a clean sheet to win the game to nil.

Lewis Alessandra was the man to get the comeback underway when the sides met in December and the attacker can be backed at 6/1 to open the scoring at the Abbey Stadium.

Elliott Hewitt is 28/1 to be the first name on the scoresheet while striker Jon Stead is 14/1 to score two or more goals, as he did last Tuesday in the victory over Carlisle United.

You can bet on the game here.

Supporters who sign up to Sky Bet using this link can help the club financially.


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