Cambridge United vs Southend United preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news
predicted lineups and ones to watch
SOUTHEND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Jason Demetriou of Southend United getting past Paul Digby of Cambridge United during the Sky Bet League Two match between Southend United and Cambridge United at Roots Hall on January 19, 2021 in Southend, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

Cambridge United host Southend United at Abbey Stadium this Saturday at 15:00 BST in a clash which means the top of League Two meet penultimate bottom.

The two have had completely opposing seasons with the Blues sitting at the bottom of the League for the majority of the campaign whilst the U’s have been in the title race from the beginning.

Such opposites have even stayed true up to their last games with Mark Bonner’s side receiving a 4-1 humbling courtesy of Salford City whilst Mark Molesley’s men beat play-off contenders Newport County 1-0.

Recent form

Cambridge are currently fourth in the league form table losing just one of their last six games. Within this period, two unexpected draws against strugglers Colchester United and Bradford City stain an almost perfect record.

Southend’s form is significantly worse coming off the back of a dismal January where only four points from a possible 18 were collected. February’s point tally has almost already eclipsed the previous month with three points being earned at Rodney Park last Tuesday.

Team news

U’s midfielder Paul Digby could be back in the squad after missing Cambridge’s last two games due to a foot injury and veteran Wes Hoolahan looks likely to be back in contention after being rested for the U’s game midweek.

Hiram Boateng looks to be a couple of weeks away from overcoming his shoulder injury whilst Liam O’Niell is still side-lined due to his hamstring tear.

For Southend, it is unclear if January signing Jacob Mellis will be involved or not as he missed Tuesday’s game due to illness.

Terrell Egbri, Alan McCormack and Sam Hart are all on their way back from injuries whilst James Olayinka, Lewis Gard, Nathan Ralph and Harry Lennon are all still out for the foreseeable future.

Predicted lineups

Cambridge United: Burton; Dunk, Taylor, Okedina, Knoyle; Hannant, May, Drysdale, Hoolahan; Ironside, Mullin.

Southend United: Oxley; Clifford, Hobson, White, Bwomono; Nathaniel-George, Fergurson, Dieng, Demetriou, Hackett-Fairchild; Akinola.

Ones to watch

Paul Mullin

Paul Mullin has set League Two alight this season, scoring 20 goals in 28 games.

The scouse born striker has been nothing short of mesmerising this season and he is a defining factor as to why Cambridge find themselves first in the table.

A goals per 90 rate of 0.76 is one that will look increasingly more likely due to Southend’s poor defensive record, if the 26-year-old continues to do what he’s been doing all season, it could be a very enjoyable evening for him.

Tom Clifford

The young left back is enjoying his breakout season in football, playing 20 games for the first team.

Although his defensive record is not much to boast about, the 22-year-old has established himself as an excellent set piece specialist scoring three goals this season, two of the from freekicks.

Southend are not expected to create many chances this Saturday, so a dangerous freekick may be all they need to scrape something out of this game.

Previous meeting

The sides met in the league less than a month ago when Cambridge enjoyed a 2-1 win at Roots Hall.

Second half goals from Jack Iredale and Joe Ironside overturned an early Simeon Akinola strike to ensure that the visitors stopped a shock result.

Where to watch

The match is available on iFollow via Cambridge’s or Southend’s respective club websites, with match passes at £10 for those in the United Kingdom.